Wednesday, August 1, 2007

According to CQ, it seems as though the House has agreed to a provision in its lobbying bill that would allow the Senate increased power in negotiating conference reports:

The bill (S 1) would give the Senate — but not the House — the power to make surgical strikes deleting portions of conference reports.

The provision would create a new mechanism for senators to challenge individual proposals “airdropped” into conference reports without first being passed by either chamber. (A separate section of the bill would specifically deal with earmarks.)

Airdropped items have been criticized by lawmakers in both parties who say they have little recourse when provisions are inserted into conference reports at the last minute.

Rather than having to oppose the entire measure, the new tool would permit critics to challenge just the offending item, and would allow the challenge to be waived only if 60 senators go along with the waiver.