Boehner House Rules

by Daniel Foster

The schedule for week one of the 112th, from incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 4THOn Tuesday, the House is not in session.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5TH On Wednesday, the House will convene for the start of the 112th Congress at 12:00 p.m. There will be a recorded quorum call at 12:00 p.m. following the Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance.

H.Res. 5 – A resolution providing for the House Rules of the 112th Congress (Privileged Resolution)

THURSDAY, JANUARY 6THOn Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. Members are advised that there will be a recorded quorum call at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Reading of the Constitution of the United States by Members of the House of Representatives (The reading will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m.) (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte)

H.Res. __ – A resolution to Cut Congress’s Budget (Suspension) (Sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden)

FRIDAY, JANUARY 7TH On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. Last votes for the week will conclude by noon.

H.Res. __ – A resolution providing for consideration of the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (Special Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. David Dreier / Rules Committee)

The rules resolution (which you can read about here) contains the much-touted constitutionality requirement, new transparency measures at both the committee and House levels, and the replacement of the Democrats’ “pay-as-you-go” with a “cut-as-you-go” rule which “prohibits consideration of a bill, joint resolution, conference report, or amendment which has the net effect of increasing mandatory spending within the one-year, five-year, and ten-year budget windows.” (Beware, though, that the measure includes an “emergency” provision that allows for exceptions — Democrats passed many an unpaid-for measure under “emergency” conditions.)

It also repeals the “Gephardt rule”, which allowed House members to raise the debt ceiling as part of a budget resolution vote (allowing them to avoid going on the record raising debt.)

One thing I don’t like is this:

Exemptions. Subparagraphs (h)(1) through (7) allow the Budget Committee Chairman, prior to the adoption of a budget resolution, to exempt from estimates the budgetary effects of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.  It also exempts the budgetary effects of the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010.  The budgetary effects of AMT relief, estate tax, trade agreements and small business tax relief are also exempted.

Republicans overwhelmingly backed the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and they overwhelmingly support the repeal of Obamacare — and I happen to agree, mostly, on both counts — but they shouldn’t pretend that those policy positions don’t have budgetary consequences.

And speaking of Obamacare, here’s the text of the Republicans’ repeal resolution — it’s a whopping two pages.

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