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Archive of posts filed under the Parliamentary Procedure (general) category.

When is a Meeting not a Meeting?

When the Supercommittee says so, apparently.  According to this Politico article, the Supercommittee has been “supersecret,” holding a six and half hour closed session in the Capitol yesterday. But wait, the Supercommittee rules require that its “meetings” be open, unless the Supercommittee votes in open session to close them. Wasn’t this a meeting? Senator Kerry [...]

“Would You Like Tax Hikes or Spending Cuts With Your Eggs?”

John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation reports on a possible closed meeting of the Supercommittee tomorrow. Initially this was described as an “executive session” of the Supercommittee; later it was “clarified” that it will be a “private breakfast meeting.” The Supercommittee rules clearly require, at a minimum, that a vote be taken in open session [...]

Supercommittee Rules Not So Clear

The Supercommittee rules are out, but they leave some unanswered questions. To begin with, the rules provide that “[t]he rules of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to the extent that they are applicable to committees, including rule XXXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate and clause 2 of rule XI of the [...]

“Precedents” and Presidential Addresses

As you may have heard, the President has requested an opportunity to address a joint session of Congress. His request initially was to make the address on September 7, but the Speaker responded that because of certain logistical concerns “it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening.” In reference to [...]

A Court Challenge to the “Slaughter Solution”

           This Politico article  provides a good overview of the possibility of a court challenge to healthcare reform legislation if it is enacted through the “Slaughter Solution.”  The article notes that “[n]o lawyer interviewed by POLITICO thought the constitutionality of the ‘deem and pass’ approach being considered by House Democrats was an open-and-shut case either [...]

Does the “Slaughter Solution” Comply with the Constitution’s Lawmaking Requirements?

The latest procedural furor in the healthcare reform debate has been over something dubbed the “Slaughter Solution,” so-named after the Chair of the House Rules Committee.  To understand this procedure, one must recall that the Democratic leadership intends for the House to pass two separate bills.  The first is the bill that previously passed the [...]

The Role of Reconciliation Instructions

For those who are trying to follow the nearly incomprehensible debate over reconciliation, it is worthwhile keeping in mind the controlling reconciliation instructions, which are contained in Sections 201 and 202 of the Concurrent Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2010.  The exact language of these instructions turns out, it appears, to be critically important. For [...]

All About Reconciliation

           My friend Chris Rice has a blog called “Reconcilers,” which is about bringing God’s peace to a broken world (he could explain it better than I can).  Here in DC, though, where we are more in the world-breaking business, “reconciliation” is definitely not about bringing people closer to God or to each other.  As [...]

Voting Procedure in the House

       The Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007 (commonly referred to as the “Stolen Vote” committee) has released its final report dated September 25, 2008.    The report describes in some detail the process of voting in the House, which I summarize below: Votes in the House are conducted by the “tally [...]

More on Coconut Road

           Via TPM Muckraker, Senator Tom Coburn has demanded a joint House-Senate investigation of the circumstances that led to the infamous Coconut Road earmark language, which was inserted into the 2005 Transportation Bill (allegedly on instructions of staff for then-House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young) after final passage of the bill.  Taxpayers for Common Sense had requested [...]