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Pelosi created the “party of no”

November 3, 2010

Under Pelosi and Slaughter, 54 House Freshmen Have Never Had Unrestricted Debate on a Bill |

I get upset at the labeling of the GOP as the “party of no”, because it is so full of falsehoods.  Not only did the Democrats have majorities in both houses, oh and the presidency, but this new article sheds some light on how Pelosi framed the debate of all legislation in the house to allow absolutely no compromise from the minority party.  In essence, the only thing the GOP could do was vote no.

The lead is:

The 111th Congress adjourned without House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ever having allowed debate on all desired amendments under the normal rules of the House of Representatives.

As a result, many of the 54 freshman members first elected to the House in 2008 could be ushered out by Wednesday morning without having ever engaged in unrestricted debate on a bill or been able to offer their own amendments.

This was written pre-election, so just ignore the coulds.  But imagine that, many freshman representatives never were afforded the opportunity to actually take place in representing their constituents.  The were only allowed to vote, not offer any amendments.

John Boehner reasserts this point in a speech he gave on September 30th:

“From the floor of the House to the committee level, the integrity of the House has been compromised,” Boehner said. “This is the first Congress in our history that has not allowed one bill to come to the floor under an open rule. The current freshman class has served almost their entire term without ever having the chance to debate a bill under an open process in the House.”

To further explain what this means:

With Slaughter’s [editor – Rep. Louise Slaughter D-NY] help, Pelosi has ushered every bill to the floor under some kind of closed or special rule.

Under a closed rule, amendments can only be debated or added during the committee process, and none can be offered or considered on the floor; rank-and-file members have a binary choice: vote for the bill in the form the House leadership has approved or vote to keep the current-law status quo.

A binary decision, aka, yes or no.  You either vote for obamacare or you are the “party of no”.  Consumer Protection Bureau, yes or “party of no”.  The call to compromise is unfounded if you don’t actually allow compromise.  The GOP was blocked from helping write the bills, blocked from offering amendments and were only allowed a binary choice in the final outcome – you tell me who was unwilling to compromise?

The most prominent example of the penchant for special rules relates to the March 2010 passage of the health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Slaughter reportedly attempted to craft a rule that would allow Democrats to vote on a package of fixes to the bill and thereby “deem” the underlying bill passed, without technically having to cast a roll call vote, and thereby presumably minimizing the political fallout.

Ultimately, the so-called Slaughter Rule did not get enough support to be applied to the health care bill, although the reform package still passed under strict parameters for debate. The parties each had an hour to debate the Senate’s changes with no new amendments.

A 2500 page bill, with 1 hour to debate it, and no amendments to change anything?

I have said before and I will repeat myself, I think the GOP being the “party of no” is a good thing, because we have too many damn laws to begin with, but the democrats derogatorily using the phrase when they forced the GOP to be anything but the “no party” is not only disingenuous it is insulting to the American political process.

Update – 11/4/2010, 12:17pm – Some more evidence of this, and what LD Jackson was alluding to in his comments below, on his blog Political Realities. Click here to read the specific article.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. bunkerville permalink
    November 3, 2010 3:01 pm

    She also changed the membership of committees as I recall, only allowing a couple of Republicans to be members-thus neutering them. I was thinking about doing some research on her committees, but you wired me up to respond now to this despot.

    • November 3, 2010 3:05 pm

      Thanks for your addition to this ladies bypassing of our political system. Thank god she is gone.

  2. JustFacts permalink
    November 3, 2010 3:40 pm

    Yesterday, the Democrats received the biggest “NO” vote in recent years. It will be interesting to see if Ms Pelosi will be satisfied with her new role as “not the most powerful woman in the world,” or whether she will resign. I’m betting on the latter.

    • November 3, 2010 3:58 pm

      I am hoping on the latter.

  3. LD Jackson permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:04 pm

    There is something else that you may or may not be aware of about Nancy Pelosi. When the GOP came to power in 1994, Newt Gingrich and company changed the House rules to allow the minority party to have more say in what when on in the chamber and what legislation would be considered. Let me say that again, they changed the rules to allow the minority party to have a bigger voice. As soon as Nancy Pelosi moved into the Speaker’s chair, she changed the rules back and the minority party no longer had much of a voice in the House, unless it was to vote No! As you said, this is entirely due to manipulation by Nancy Pelosi. Good riddance.

    • November 3, 2010 9:00 pm

      Hey I never knew that, thanks for the additional info. And good riddance indeed. =)

      • LD Jackson permalink
        November 3, 2010 9:06 pm

        Actually, I was wrong about part of that. She didn’t make the changes until 2009. Her is a link to the story.

        Pelosi changes House rules

    • bunkerville permalink
      November 4, 2010 9:10 am

      Thanks LD for the link– The complaint about why the bills have been so badly written, is they are not being vetted by Committees. Thus outside groups are doing the bill making,

  4. November 3, 2010 9:24 pm

    Wow, that is incredible. Man she is such a bitch.

    She waited until the dems took the whitehouse and then its backroom deals and shut down the republicans. Well, if anyone had doubts before that this was an orchestrated plan to ram as much progressive legislation through as possible, they should be erased (the doubts, not the people).

    Say what you want about the GOP, but we should freaking thank them, big time. If they didn’t stand up and try to stop this crap, we would be even more worse off than now; think of cap and trade. And with my post and the info you provided, think how the cards were stacked against them. I am serious, we owe them a debt of gratitude for preventing what they did.


  1. Pelosi creation of the ‘Party of No’ « BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades!
  2. Sunday hunt for links – American Bison Edition | Political Realities

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