Friday, August 3, 2007

More on last night's disputed House vote: Will House Democrats try to change the way the party deals with motions to recommit? The Hill suggests that this is a possibility; this year, House Republicans have sometimes been able to complicate the Democratic majority's plans with these motions, so leadership is concerned:

The vote, aides said, has sparked renewed discussions among Democratic leaders about changing the way they deal with the procedural votes sponsored by the minority, called “motions to recommit.”

In April, Democratic leaders asked members to vote against such motions if they actually “recommit” the bill back to committee. Such a move is often fatal to the underlying bill.

Other motions to recommit simply amend the bill and do not send it back to committee. Democratic leaders decided not to enforce party discipline on such bills, allowing members to vote their conscience.

Last night's motion would have sent it back to committee, but some Democratic Reps still supported it--19 at first, then 14 (5 switched their votes).

Democrats talked about changing the rules about these motions earlier, but Republicans "used other procedural tactics to shut down the floor until Democrats agreed not to attempt the change."

Meanwhile, the GOP is now sending around this recording in which Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD)--according to the GOP's identification--says "We control this House, not the parliamentarian." We don't know the full context for this declaration, but, assuming that this is Hoyer, what could this release do for a Hoyer-Boehner conference on this matter? What did Hoyer say this in response to? Does this imply that he was directly involved in this vote meltdown?