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house Bill H. Res. 6

Adopting the House Rules for the 116th Congress

Argument in favor

This rules package reflects the priorities of the incoming House Democratic majority: it empowers the House to stand up for Obamacare against legal challenges, empowers a special committee to address the climate crisis, allows religious headwear to be worn on the floor, and creates a new path for bipartisan bills to come to the House floor.

Dawn's Opinion
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01/03/2019
This rules package reflects the priorities of the incoming House Democratic majority: it empowers the House to stand up for Obamacare against legal challenges, empowers a special committee to address the climate crisis, allows religious headwear to be worn on the floor, and creates a new path for bipartisan bills to come to the House floor.
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Haralambos's Opinion
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01/03/2019
I especially like the part where no member of Congress can serve on a board of a public company.
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01/03/2019
Please also add ethics rules and policies regarding Obstructionism. If a representative or an entire party or group of nefarious individuals, is deemed to be behaving, acting or performing in an unethical manner, such that they are obstructing the required daily performance of the House duties, then these individuals and groups, are subject to fines at ten times their daily compensation for each day of obstructionism, and after three incidents, they are subject to termination, with no compensation for life.
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Argument opposed

This rules package undoes too many of the changes the House GOP made, like imposing term limits on committee chairs and taking projected economic changes into account when analyzing a bill’s cost. Alternatively, its PAYGO point-of-order would make it too easy to stop or undermine progressive bills because of their cost.

Frank's Opinion
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01/03/2019
I'm not having anything to do with the Pay go b.s. proposed by Pelosi to kill ALL PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS like medicare for all, college for all,
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Jim2423's Opinion
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01/03/2019
You forgot Term Limits for being in office. Also this is supposed to be a temp job and no retirement.
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IllWill's Opinion
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01/03/2019
Do not implement the PAYGO rule! The Democrats need a bold progressive agenda for this Congress and the PAYGO rule would kill off any piece of progressive legislation like Medicare-for-all or a Green New Deal.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H. Res. 6?

This resolution would adopt the rules of the House of Representatives for the 116th Congress, covering matters such as how long a bill’s text has to be available before it receives a vote, how a bill’s cost is analyzed, what members can wear, and requiring members’ offices to have anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. It’d also establish certain special committees, give the House power to take legal action in cases related to Obamacare, and change the names of certain standing committees. A breakdown of its major provisions can be found below.

Legislative text would have to be available for a full 72 hours before a bill receives a vote on the House floor (in the last Congress the rule was parts of 3 days, so a bill would only need to really be available for 24 hours and two minutes).

Traditionally non-voting delegates from territories (such as Puerto Rico or Guam) would be allowed to vote when the House is in the “Committee of the Whole”. But if their votes would have a decisive impact on the outcome the vote would be re-conducted without them.

The Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule would establish a budget point of order against any measure that has the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus for the current fiscal year, the budget year, and up to nine fiscal years following that budget year as determined by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). There would be exemptions for emergency designations, or if a measure is added to another and the budgetary impact of the entire package doesn’t increase the deficit or reduce the surplus. (Under Republican control, the House had a different version of the rule called “cut-go” that required for budget or tax cuts to offset new spending instead of tax increases.)

A “Consensus Calendar” would be created to force the consideration of bills that have 290 cosponsors and haven’t been reported by committee. Members would be able to file a Consensus Calendar motion to place a bill on the calendar, and after 25 legislative days of maintaining at least 290 cosponsors the bill would be placed on the Consensus Calendar (those days wouldn’t have to be contiguous, so days below 290 cosponsors wouldn’t count). It would remain on the Consensus Calendar until it is considered by the House or reported by committee. Every week that there is an eligible item on the Consensus Calendar, the Speaker would be required to bring at least one eligible bill up for a floor vote.

When the House adopts a budget resolution, it will consider a bill raising the debt limit through the end of the fiscal year passed by the same margin and send such legislation to the Senate.

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity would be prohibited by the Code of Official Conduct. Non-disclosure settlement agreements couldn’t preclude communication with the Ethics Committee, members would have to personally repay discrimination settlements, there would be mandatory anti-harassment training for all offices, and statements of employee rights & protections posted in all offices.

The Speaker would be authorized on behalf of the House to intervene, otherwise appear, or take any other steps in legal cases related to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), such as Texas v. United States.

Other rules adopted by the House would include:

  • The existing ban on wearing hats in the Hall of the House would continue, but religious headwear would be excluded from the ban.

  • The existing term limits for committee chairs and members of the Budget Committee would be eliminated, so committee chairs don’t have to give up control of their committee.

  • The requirement that the Congressional Budget Office & Joint Committee on Taxation use “dynamic scoring” (which projects the impact of legislation on the economy) in its cost estimates would be eliminated.

  • Sexual relationships between members and committee staff would be prohibited.

  • Members under indictment for a felony punishable by at least two years in prison would step aside from their committee or leadership positions until they’re acquitted or charges are reduced or dismissed.

  • Members, officers, and employees would be prohibited from serving on the board of any public company.

  • Committee legal counsel would be authorized to take depositions without members being present.

  • A Select Committee on the Climate Crisis would be established to investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve reductions in pollution that contribute to the climate crisis. It will submit policy recommendations to relevant committees by March 31, 2020, and all reports to the House by the end of the 116th Congress.

  • In a similar vein, a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress would be established to investigate recommendations on modernizing Congress, including looking at its rules, scheduling procedures, leadership development, staff recruitment, compensation, and diversity.

  • Two committees would be renamed: the Committee Education and the Workforce to the Committee on Education and Labor; and the Committee on Oversight and Reform to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Further, this rules package would grant the House “same day” authority (aka martial law) to consider legislation making or continuing appropriations for agencies impacted by the partial government shutdown on the floor the same day it’s reported from the Rules Committee.

As a simple resolution that adopts the House’s internal rules, this bill wouldn’t advance to the Senate or go to the president’s desk.

Impact

The House of Representatives, including its members and their employees; and the CBO.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 6

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Incoming House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) offered the following statement on this rules package for the 116th Congress:

“This Democratic rules package is the result of unprecedented consultation across our caucus and the Congress. We asked every Member for their ideas, from the longest-serving tot he newly elected and spent months vetting ideas. This package is stronger because of such a collaborative process. We are proposing historic changes that will modernize Congress, restore regular order and bring integrity back to this institution. It unrigs the rules so the People’s House actually works for the people again. Americans demanded a new direction, and this rules package will immediately usher in a new era for this Congress.”

House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised this rule package’s “transformational, historic changes” that will help in “ushering in a new era of clean government that will honor the consensus of the American people - restoring the People’s House to the people.”

Votes on rules packages typically play out along party-lines (the last crossover vote on an overall rules package came in 2001) so most Republicans aren’t expected to support the changes made to the rules they’d followed in the House during their eight years in control of it. But at least one, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), will vote in favor because it includes the Consensus Calendar he pushed for as a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which he called “a step in the right direction” even if he may face “consequences” for his vote.

Some of the 116th Congress’s more progressive Democrats have announced opposition to the PAYGO provision, with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) saying he’d oppose “austerity economics that… caused great harm to the middle class” and that “I don’t think we need to handcuff ourselves in ways that Republicans never have.”

Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted that “PAYGO isn’t only bad economics… it’s also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress” on healthcare and other legislation.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / mrod)

AKA

Adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, and for other purposes.

Official Title

Adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, and for other purposes.

    This rules package reflects the priorities of the incoming House Democratic majority: it empowers the House to stand up for Obamacare against legal challenges, empowers a special committee to address the climate crisis, allows religious headwear to be worn on the floor, and creates a new path for bipartisan bills to come to the House floor.
    Like (133)
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    I'm not having anything to do with the Pay go b.s. proposed by Pelosi to kill ALL PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS like medicare for all, college for all,
    Like (70)
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    I especially like the part where no member of Congress can serve on a board of a public company.
    Like (126)
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    Please also add ethics rules and policies regarding Obstructionism. If a representative or an entire party or group of nefarious individuals, is deemed to be behaving, acting or performing in an unethical manner, such that they are obstructing the required daily performance of the House duties, then these individuals and groups, are subject to fines at ten times their daily compensation for each day of obstructionism, and after three incidents, they are subject to termination, with no compensation for life.
    Like (63)
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    You forgot Term Limits for being in office. Also this is supposed to be a temp job and no retirement.
    Like (59)
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    Do not implement the PAYGO rule! The Democrats need a bold progressive agenda for this Congress and the PAYGO rule would kill off any piece of progressive legislation like Medicare-for-all or a Green New Deal.
    Like (40)
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    NO PayGo!!!! Why is Nancy Pelosi trying to bring this back??? This hamstrings the Democrats right as they’re taking the majority!
    Like (29)
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    I want congress to practice COMPLETE transparency. They MUST go back to working for WE THE PEOPLE not the lobbyists. They need to disclose all their dealings and be subject to FARA LAWS.
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    PAYGO by itself nullifies any other progressive measures.
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    Paygo is non-starter. I know that Dems are the -actual- fiscally responsible party, but why are we hamstringing ourselves before we can fix anything? There is a order of operations for things. Some deficit spending is going to be necessary before we can undo this Republican deficit mess AGAIN.
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    Remove PAYGO, or vote against the whole package.
    Like (18)
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    No to Paygo! Medicare for all needs the flexibility to work without that restraint.
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    I do Not recognize the 116th Congress as Ligitimate.
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    This set of rules imparts PAYGO which is unacceptable. PAYGO blocks progressive priorities that would in fact aid this country’s fiscal situation. PAYGO alone can hamstring the Democratic Party within the house which is now the majority. Why hamstring the house when the Senate is still Republican?
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    Obamacare needs to be protected.
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    What we have now isn't working!!! We need change!!!
    Like (7)
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    Change the Pay Go before putting this through. Pay Go needs to be removed.
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    The rules package is basically ok, except for the PAYGO provision. I definitely support fiscal responsibility, but I also know the government needs the ability to borrow to implement much needed reforms. So I do not support a rule that ties the hands of the new Congress from passing bold legislation. It is imperative that the 116th Congress with a DEM controlled House speak loud and clear about what we stand for and what legislation we would sign into law if we take back the Senate and White House in 2020. We can’t pass a rule that gets in the way of that message.
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    Paygo U.S. a Nogo.
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    No covered clothing, we need to be able to confirm who is speaking on the floor. Term limits and only two weeks of vacation just like the average person. No absentee voting, because our tax dollars are being wasted if our representative is not there and we can't see how they are voting!!
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