Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Charging to the House Floor in Virginia

Republicans in Virginia are attempting to avoid cumbersome committee meetings (and arguments) so they can push controversial bills. The bills are being set to the House Rules Committee - which has the power to send the bills directly to the floor.

It sounds like the offensive strategy of a football team. I wonder who will win.
Change in Rules Ruffles Feathers In the Va. House

By Anita Kumar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 16, 2008; B01

RICHMOND, Jan. 15 -- In every session of the Virginia General Assembly, legislators introduce thousands of bills, many of which are so controversial that they die in a committee.

But this year, in a change that has angered Democrats, the Republican leaders who control the House have decided to allow bills to bypass the usual committees, potentially sending them straight to the House floor for a vote.

In this way, the GOP leaders are attempting to force Democrats to vote on controversial issues that could make them vulnerable in future elections. Already, dozens of bills about abortion, taxes, capital punishment, collective bargaining and illegal immigration have been referred to the Republican-controlled Rules Committee, which can send bills to the full House.

Democrats say they are worried that they will have to vote on the bills, even those that have no chance of passing in the full House or later in the Senate, producing a record of votes that will show up in campaign ads in the next election.

"If the bills of a certain type, these highly politically charged bills, are being dumped into the Rules Committee . . . to be a mechanism for getting the bills to the floor for a vote by everybody in the House so that perhaps those votes can be used in campaigns, that is so disappointing," Del. Kenneth R. Melvin (D-Portsmouth) said...

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