According to the NPR article cited, Democrats propose the following changes to House Rules:
- Democrats will revive the “Gephardt Rule,” introduced in the late 1970s by Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., that automatically raises the debt ceiling — the nation’s borrowing limit — once the House passes a budget.
- Democrats are changing the rules regarding motions “to vacate the chair,” a procedural tool that could be used to force out a sitting House speaker.
- Creating a committee to address climate change. The panel will not have subpoena power or the ability to introduce legislation so it will not be as powerful as a similar committee created by Pelosi during the previous Democratic majority from 2007 to 2011, but the issue is expected to be a major priority for the party’s progressive wing.
- Creating a bipartisan select committee tasked with coming up with proposals to “modernize and improve” the way Congress operates.
- Setting new ethics rules that prohibit lawmakers and aides from sitting on corporate boards and a new requirement for annual ethics training for all lawmakers.
- Reviving a rule that requires 72 hours before major legislation can get a vote in the House to ensure all lawmakers have time to review the bill.
- Amending rules to extend bans on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and to allow religious headwear to be worn in the House chamber.
These changes don’t correspond well to what reportedly was agree to with the Problem Solvers. One wonders if the neglected changes have been dropped or only are considered unimportant by the NPR reporters.
For reference, the changes reportedly agreed to previously are these:
- The first proposal would require that any legislation that achieves 290 cosponsors — three-fifths of the House — be debated and get a timely floor vote.
- The second would mandate that any amendment with at least 20 cosponsors from both parties would get a debate and a vote.
- The final proposal says every member in every new Congress can introduce one bill on the committee on which he or she serves that would be guaranteed debate and a committee vote as long as the measure is bipartisan and germane to that panel’s jurisdiction.
If the Problem Solvers are miffed, perhaps we will learn why.