Since January, House Republicans have had quite a bit of success at frustrating Democratic legislation through motions to recommit. The virtue of the motion to recommit, as I understand it, is that it forces Democrats to go on record, and some have been unwilling to follow their leadership on measures that are unpopular back home.
We’ve just learned that the Democrats are now striking back by, as a reader puts it:
…threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit (specifically on “paygo” provisions) or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit. This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822. That’s wonk-speak for making it easier to raise taxes, without forcing their Members to take the tough votes on the record.
The Republicans have responded by shutting down the House with one procedural motion after another. Congressman Eric Cantor explains what is happening on his web site:
Bottom line – the Democrats are preventing their Members from having to vote on the tax increases that they are trying to impose on the American People.
We will post updates as they become available. This seems like a good time to call or email your Congressman.
UPDATE: More here. Our source writes:
The Dems are beginning to feel the heat. There is a rumor that they might be about to fold their hand, but that’s only a rumor.
One way or another, it seems to be working. House GOP is sticking together.
FURTHER UPDATE: It’s over. House Republicans are proclaiming victory as Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have abandoned their effort to change the rules to allow their majority to operate with more stealth.
Let’s give some credit to conservatives in the House. The conventional wisdom is that in the House, unlike the Senate, the minority is more or less powerless. But the House Republicans seem to be well led and to be using effective tactics. They have foiled a number of pieces of bad and unpopular legislation with motions to recommit; hence today’s effort by the Democrats to change the rules to take that option away from the minority.
PAUL adds: Speaking of the Senate, rumor has it that Republicans there are about to cave on immigration reform and join forces with Ted Kennedy. You could tell this was probably in the works from the comments of Senators Brownback and (especially) McCain during the debate last night. No Senator who is a party to this capitulation will get my vote in the Republican presidential primary.