Friday, December 16, 2011

House Rule for HR 2055

I mentioned in last night's blog post that there were some strange sounding provisions in the Rule that the House Rules Committee adopted last night for the consideration of HR 2055. After I got to bed the Committee staff finally (it was a long night for them, I hope they get overtime pay, probably not) go the tule posted on the web site. Those odd-ball provisions do not really concern the considetation of HR 2055, but deal with HR 3672, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2012, and H. Con. Res. 94, a resolution dealing with that bill. Those games are interesting (if you're a political junky), but not really germane to this blog.

There are two interesting additions to the rule that do apply to HR 2055, the first authorizes consideration of a continuing resolution today and the second provides for same day consideration of a bill (well, some specific type bills including HR 2055) under a rule. Both are essentially waivers of current House Rules to allow Congress to actually complete action on the spending bills before the end of the first session of the 112th Congress.

The conintuing resolution should be a short term, probably a week, resolution, but that is not specified in this rule. Chairman Drieer (R,CA) explained last night that the 2200+ page document submitted by the Conference Committee is not a documant that can really go to the President. Glancing at the documents on-line it is clear that they are a hodgepodge of printed documents with hand written corrections and modifications. It could take a couple of days to get the final document in a proper state for the President's signature. And the bill can't go into effect until the President signs it.

The 'same day' provision in the rule will allow the House to consider HR 2055 today and is necessary because the Rule was published (even agreed to) after midnight this morning. Actually, House Rules {clause 6(a) of rule XIII} do provide for same day consideration, but it requires a 2/3 vote to authorize that consideration. The leadership, probably correctly, decided that they could not guarnatee a 2/3 vote so they waived the Rule.

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