Kevin Drum has a question re: yesterday’s brouhaha in the House:

I’m curious: what do conservative bloggers and commenters think about this? In recent years, House Republicans have routinely prevented Democrats from seeing proposed legislation, and this was just a particularly egregious example. Surely no one can defend Thomas’ action in demanding an immediate vote on a 91-page bill without even a chance to read it, let alone debate it.

Honestly, it’s rather difficult. I’m not sure how different it was when the Democrats controlled the House, which has always been run by brute force as compared to the Senate. It’s raw majority rule with little need for consensus.

Indeed, this story was below the fold in this morning’s WaPo print edition, with most of the story on page A6.

Still, these sort of tactics are rather ugly when cast into the public light. The irony, as the WaPo story pointed out this morning, is that the amendments would have been supported overwhelmingly by the Democrats had they been given a chance to review them:

Ironically, many Democrats support the bill that sparked yesterday’s furor. The measure would accelerate scheduled increases in various retirement contribution limits enacted in 2001. Individuals would be able to contribute $15,000 a year to a 401(k) plan and $5,000 to an IRA, beginning next year. People 50 and older could contribute more.

The bill passed the committee with no Democratic votes.

They say that politics, like sausage making, is much better if you don’t watch the process too closely. Unlike sausage making, politics doesn’t have to be this way.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin Drum says:

    I think you may be underestimating the play this has gotten. Just being on the front page of the Post at all is remarkable. I was surprised to see it on the front page of the LA Times too.

    This kind of stuff usually doesn’t merit more than blurb on page 36. This is getting a lot of attention.

  2. James Joyner says:

    We’ll see, I guess. It’s the weekend. My guess is that next week everyone will be talking about Kobe Bryant.

  3. The bill also reduces the amount of money corporations must set aside to provide for retirees retirement committments – that’s rank and file, not top management. This is what the Dems were objecting to. As good Dems would be expected to…

  4. Steven says:

    To answer part of your question–it was no different under the Democrats.