Democrats’ Partisan Rules Package Ignores Constitutional Values and Institutional Principles

On a 217-206 party line vote, Democrats passed their Rules package that ignores values outlined in the Constitution and goes against longstanding principles of the House as an institution. In a column for The Wall Street Journal, James Freeman explained how these rules lay the groundwork for the misguided policy agenda that Speaker Pelosi intends to pursue during this Congress:

  • WSJ (Freeman): “The Pelosi Rules”
    • “The Speaker of the House is clarifying today that without a Republican Senate to serve as a check on her chamber, the 117th Congress is prepared to follow the fiscal blowout of 2020 with another historic surge in federal spending and debt. New House rules will eliminate one of the few modest institutional restraints on government budgets and further reduce the power of minority Republicans to impede the Pelosi agenda.”
    • “Mrs. Pelosi has now endorsed a budgeting rule championed by radical Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez (D., N.Y.). The basic idea is to make every liberal priority eligible for “emergency” spending and remove it from any debate about government priorities.”
    • “Just in case any lawmakers are inclined to stand athwart the federal fisc yelling stop, Nancy Pelosi has an answer for that, too. Starting this week, minority Republicans will have even less power to amend bills pushed by her majority. The ‘motion to recommit’ procedure, previously used by the minority to force votes on potential improvements to a bill, will now only allow dissenters on the House floor to delay bills, not change them.”

In regard to the first two points in the op-ed, socialist Democrats are openly championing these provisions since they will now have the ability to bring devastating policies that rob the American people of their freedom to the House floor. Squad member Ayanna Pressley even tweeted that they will permit Democrats to pass a socialist takeover of the entire health care industry and the Green New Deal:

  • Fox News: “Pressley says House rules pave way for Green New Deal, socialized health care”

The last point made by Freeman is notable too. With these Rules, the Democrats have all-but eliminated a provision that has existed in the House since its inception, and a right that it has provided to the minority for over a century. In remarks on the floor yesterday, Leader McCarthy blasted this power grab by House Democrats, explained how their decision to remove the MTR is an affront to free speech, and vowed that Republicans will defend the Constitution and the House as an institution in the majority:

LEADER McCARTHY: “Our Constitution lists the freedom of speech as its very first freedom. And for our Founding Fathers, the reason was self-evident…and the very first action of this majority is to take it away. From the very beginning of this institution, we had a Motion To Recommit, to protect the minority….

“The fact that this is the Democrats’ first course of action as a majority in the new Congress speaks volumes to what the lengths they will go to to silence the people’s voice….

“When we, the Republicans, took the majority again and had it for eight years, not only did we never touch it, we guaranteed it again. You’ve been in power for two. You lost seats based upon what you did on this floor. Instead of changing course, you now deny people the voice. That’s the history that will be written today. That’s the legacy you will live with. I will promise you this: two years from today, when you are no longer in the majority, we will correct the course of history, because we are not afraid to debate. We are not afraid of ideas. We believe it makes us stronger. We know it makes this country stronger.”