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September 29, 2008

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JJ Commoner

Of course they do ... it's been proven time after time over the past decade-plus. The government is by the people, for the people and the decision-makers work from that principle regarding every decision they make. This is America, after all.

Phil

Stewardship and the public trust, the public interest, rising above personal interest to promote the commonwealth, these are the guiding principles of our elected representatives and the lobbyists sent to DC by our special interest factions.

Martial Law invoked in House?

"Martial Law" In House of Representatives

Washington, Sep 28 - Under the martial law procedure, long-standing House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation — so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on — are swept away. Instead, under “martial law,” the Leadership can file legislation with tens or hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted into the legislation behind closed doors. This is the procedure that the Leadership intends to use to muscle through important bills in the next two days.

Congressman Michael C. Burgess, 26th District, Texas  video

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What is “Martial Law”?

The House leadership is using a parliamentary gambit to evade a longstanding House rule that is supposed to ensure that this kind of obfuscation does not occur. That House rule (Rule XIII(6)(a)) provides that a resolution (called a rule) reported by the Rules Committee cannot be considered by the House on the same legislative day that the rule is reported (except by a two-thirds vote of the House). This is supposed to ensure that Members of the House and the public have at least one day to examine and analyze what is in legislation before they have to debate and vote on it. To maneuver around this House rule and rush the three proposals discussed above to a vote before they have been fully examined, the Rules Committee reported a rule late Thursday afternoon (H.Res. 958) that would waive the application of Rule XIII(6)(a). Instead, it would allow the Rules Committee to wait until the last minute and not to report the rules governing the consideration of these bills or to release the text of the bills themselves until immediately before debate and votes on the bills, and on the rules governing their consideration, commences. This extraordinary procedure is known as a “martial law” rule because it suspends the normal procedures and safeguards and allows the House Leadership to operate in a more authoritarian fashion. It enables the Leadership to seek to ram a bill or conference report through before the Members have the opportunity to fully understand what they are voting on.

Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities

Martial Law invoked in House?

fyi, comment spam blocked (for multiple links, I think)

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