Republicans

GOP Congressman Bucks Party on Dems' House Rule Changes

Rep. Tom Reed says he was threatened with "consequences" as a result.

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

A Republican member of Congress says he'll support a series of Democrat-proposed changes for the new House of Representatives.

As NPR explains, it's customary for the majority party in the House to adopt a set of rules every two years. With Democrats having seized control of the House in the November midterms, some alterations were inevitable. Among the notable changes in the new rules is a provision allowing the speaker—likely Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.)—to "intervene" in Texas vs. United States, a federal case involving the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Another rule prohibits measures that would increase the budget deficit for the current year, while a third would create a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to investigate climate change.

Rep. Tom Reed (R–N.Y.) is the Republican co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that attempts to reach compromises (with mixed results). In late November, a press release from Reed's office touted the "commonsense rule reforms" that House Democratic leaders and Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus had agreed on. And yesterday, Reed officially announced his support for the rules. "The reforms the Problem Solvers Caucus were able to get included in this rules package go a long way to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file Members to govern and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass," Reed said in a statement, adding that "we are proud to walk the talk of reaching across the aisle to best serve the people who sent us here."

Reed does not support the full rules package. But the reforms he favors make it easier for bipartisan legislation to get to the House floor for a vote, while also making it more difficult for ideological factions in either party to affect the legislative process.

This will be the first time since 2001 that a legislator votes with the other party on a set of House rule changes. Politico reports that other Republican members of the Problem Solvers Caucus will vote with Democrats as well, though none have said so publicly.

It remains to be seen whether Reed will face repercussions from Republican leaders in the House. He suggested that he's been threatened with "consequences," though he wouldn't elaborate. "I won't speak to that right now, because hopefully there is reconsideration of it," he tells The Washington Post. "But it is what it is, and I recognize that some people want to continue to play us-versus-them politics, but I came to Washington to change it, and I'm willing to put my voting card where my mouth is."

Though there are aspects of the rule changes that he doesn't like, Reed thinks supporting the package as a whole seems like "a show of good faith," his spokesperson, Will Reinert, tells Politico.

"There are some things that deal with litigation matters under the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and other issues that are potentially problematic from a conservative perspective," Reed said yesterday, according to WSKG. "But overall, I believe the reforms are a net positive for the American people. Regardless of the consequences that this will bring to me, I will be voting yes on that package tomorrow."

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18 responses to “GOP Congressman Bucks Party on Dems' House Rule Changes

  1. I’m all for collaboration and bipartisan policies, the trouble is, will the other side actually listen or will their TDS get in the way…?
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

  2. Another rule prohibits measures that would increase the budget deficit for the current year, while a third would create a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to investigate climate change.

    Methinks these will butt up against each other.

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  3. The rules package will contains a PAYGO provision. This is require new spending have a funding source. Something the Republican forgot about when they ran the house. Supporting the rules package should be easy for any deficit hawk of either party. Left us hope there are still hawks.

    1. What I really wish for is some sort of PAYGO implementation in the ballot booth. Imagine if every candidate and proposition had a price tag, and voters could choose based on projected cost. Even better if voters had to insert a credit card to pay for their choices to validate their ballot.

      1. Your plan has an Achilles heel, the word “projected”

    2. This is purely anecdotal, but I’ve noticed on Derpbook and Twitter that the progs I know are all very pissed off about PAYGO, on the grounds that it will hinder the progressive agenda. It’s kinda funny, a left-handed admission that their agenda is going to cost a shit-ton of money.

      1. A shit-Ton MORE money than they can feasibly raise through politically achievable tax increases.

    3. You’re an idiot if you think that increasing taxes to pay for increasing government spending is a good thing. That’s all PAYGO is, a rule to command more taxes. when the planned tax revenues don’t show up are Democrats going to reduce spending? no, not ever.

    4. yeah there aren’t.

  4. The biggest issue facing the country is the budget debt. So limiting the budget deficit is a step in the right direction. However eliminating payco is bad, as is abolishing the need for a vote to raise the debt ceiling. It’s not clear if this is a good package overall. At times like this I regret not becoming a policy wonk. #lifechoices

    1. ” as is abolishing the need for a vote to raise the debt ceiling”

      The Republican controlled Senate would still have to vote for the debt ceiling increase as a separate measure.

  5. I don’t get it. Republicans can’t block the rules so why get upset about his vote?

    Likewise for prior and future congresses.

  6. The Problem Solvers Caucus is dedicated to offering permanent solutions to chronic problems, final solutions if you will. They’re the ultimate in Uniparty politics, offering a bipartisan compromise that both Nanny State Republicans and Nanny State Democrats can support.

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  9. >>>This will be the first time since 2001 that a legislator votes with the other party on a set of House rule changes.

    and 12 fucking minutes in (R) caves … figures

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