Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Republicans Take Charge of House, Fight Erupts Over Voting Rights for Delegates

While it is good to see Boehner jump in with both feet, I will remain only cautiously optimistic. I'm not going to fall for words anymore, actions are the key.

The new rules are impressive, but some of these are the same things obama said, all the talk of transparency got exactly nowhere. obama and his gang of thugs have been everything but transparent. I hope that we can put more stock in the words of the Republicans because the democrats have proven to be nothing but liars, especially the last two years.

I don't understand how delegates from non-states have voting rights to begin with, except for the fact that they are democrats, for the most part, and house democrats would want the extra six extra votes. If those locations ever become States, then voting rights will be a given, until then their roles should be advisory at best.

I just never get tired of hearing about democrats refusing to vote for pelosi for minority leader, it cracks me up...

From FoxNews

With the pomp and circumstance behind him, newly-minted House Speaker John Boehner wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and getting down to the business of governing -- and the first order of business for the 112th Congress was setting the ground rules.

New House Majority Leader Eric Cantor introduced a rules package that covers scheduling (how many days worked, when votes can and cannot occur), the terms and conditions for debating bills (all bills will cite their constitutional authority and be posted online for 72 hours before a vote) and allows electronic devices, such as BlackBerries and iPads on the floor of the lower chamber.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially, Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, will have the authority to set the top line budget numbers for the year -- a change from the previous process, which went through the Budget Committee.

The package passed 240-191.

One of the first acts of the Republican-controlled House is to take away the floor voting rights of six delegates representing areas such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

Five of those delegates are Democrats, while one, from the Northern Marianas Islands, is an independent.

The GOP decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was the predictable outcome of a longtime dispute.

Democrats extended those voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House. Republicans disenfranchised the delegates when they became the majority in 1995, and Democrats restored delegate rights when they regained control in 2007.

Virgin Islands Delegate Donna Christensen calls the Republican action "a very undemocratic way" to start the new Congress.

Earlier Wednesday, in an emotionally charged moment during the opening act of the 112th Congress, a teary-eyed Boehner took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi, officially becoming the 61st House speaker.

In his speech to fellow lawmakers, the Ohio Republican vowed to give the government back to the people, renew focus on the Constitution and provide transparency, honesty and accountability.

"Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress," he said. "No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions."

Boehner, who has earned a reputation for shedding tears, did not cry during his speech. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich, administered the oath of office.

Before she relinquished the gavel, Pelosi, who remains the leader of the House Democrats, said her party will work with Republicans to help create jobs.

"When the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, and the new Republican majority, come forward with solutions that address these American challenges, you will find in us a willing partner," she said.

Lawmakers voted for Boehner as House speaker with 241 of 242 Republican votes. Boehner didn't vote. However, outgoing Pelosi faced a minor revolt from several of the 193 Democrats now in the minority.

While it's traditional for the minority to vote its leader as speaker, even on the assumption the leader will lose, Pelosi was not the choice of 19 lawmakers. It was the largest number of defections for any formal candidate for speaker since January 1997 when nine Republicans voted against House Speaker Newt Gingrich. At that time, four voted for another member and five members voted present.