Thursday, September 29, 2011

HR 2017 to be Considered in the House

Today the House Rules Committee web site was updated to announce that HR 2017, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, is “likely to be considered pursuant to a unanimous consent request” this week. With tomorrow the only remaining day that the House is supposed to meet this week, one would have to conclude that this consideration will take place in that almost pro forma session. It would have been completely pro forma if the Senate had just gone along and passed HR 2608.

Don’t shed any tears for your Representative having to cut their one week working vacation short by a couple of days. I would be surprised if very many of them show up for the consideration of HR 2017. As long as no one officially recognizes that a quorum is not present and no one asks for a vote, this bill will be passed by just a handful of congresscritters.

It will start with an important member asking for unanimous consent and that will start the political ballet that will end with the words, “In the opinion of the Chair, the Ayes have it.” Then everyone will go home for a long weekend and worry about passing HR 2608 on Monday or Tuesday.

Oh yes. Everyone will hold their breaths during that ballet. You see; a single political bomb thrower (‘political bombs’ are always more of a problem than mere explosives) can derail the whole process by muttering the words “I object” or noticing that a quorum is not present. Either will stop the proceedings and we’ll be exposed to the spectacle of most of 435  representatives scrambling to get a flight in to Washington D.C. that would allow them to vote on Friday. That circus might almost be worth the price of admission.

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