I’ve been told that, for the past few weeks, the House Democratic leadership has done a complete about-face on the issue of including House Republicans in the legislative process. Until recently, the Dems gave the Republicans essentially no role. They did what they wanted without consulting Republican members and their staff, and often without even advising them of what was coming down.
Now, however, Democratic staffers apparently are tripping over themselves to seek the views of the Minority and to keep its members and staffers apprised of what’s afoot.
Why the change? Beats me; I’m happy to say that I don’t think like the House leadership. Perhaps the House Dems don’t want to cast any more tough votes between now and the election, and are bringing the Republicans into the process as a way to slow things down and thus avoid such votes.
UPDATE: In what may be a related development, Speaker Pelosi has taken away some of the perks enjoyed by House members when they travel. Members will be expected to fly in coach unless a flight is more than 14 hours. Government money provided per diem on congressional delegations, can only be used for “official purposes related to the trip.” Spouses will not be able to travel on the government’s dime.
As with the new show of “niceness” to Republicans, the revised travel policy is probably too little too late to save the House Dems.
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