GOP--Grossly Outrageous Partisans.

Saturday, January 06, 2007 at 05:50 PM

As with Repub attitudes toward lawsuits, it turns out that the attitude of Repubs toward minority rights in Congress depends mostly on whether Repubs are the minority.

During the Republican's "permanent majority" (Reich), which managed to last from 1994 to 2006, the Democratic minority had about as many rights a blacks enjoyed in pre-Civil War Mississippi. They often didn't get to see legislation until just before being required to vote on it, they were not infrequently omitted entirely from any discussion of the bill before it reached the floor, and Repubs changed procedural and ethics rules at self-serving whim.

But then something called "the election in which the worm turned" occurred last November, and Oh My, what a different set of rules party of attack dogs would like to see in place now. With the Congressional shoe now on the other foot, Repubs are feeling (and looking) pinched.

According to Media Matters:

In a January 3 article, The Washington Post reported that House Republicans were expected to introduce a "Minority Bill of Rights" modeled on a 2004 proposal by then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) to strengthen the committee and amendment process and ensure that all members of Congress have adequate time to review legislation.
In a December 29 letter, GOP Reps. Patrick McHenry (NC), Eric Cantor (VA), and Tom Price (GA) announced their intention to propose a "Minority Bill of Rights" they described as "identical -- in both letter and spirit -- to a 2004 proposal made by then-Minority Leader Pelosi." Following are the terms:

Bills should only come to the floor after full hearings, open subcommittee and committee markup, and with members having a full 24 hours to review legislation prior to consideration at the subcommittee level.

Bills should normally be considered under a procedure that allows open, full, and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants all members the right to offer amendments or substitutes.

Members should be allowed a full 24 hours to examine bills and conference reports before they come to the floor; and rules governing debate must be reported before 10:00 p.m. for a bill to be considered the next day.
But absent from the Post article was any mention of the Republican leadership's immediate dismissal of Pelosi's 2004 proposal. Indeed, as the weblog TPM Muckraker noted, then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) refused even to consider the Democratic proposal.

Isn't it wonderful to know that our beloved GOP is built on sincerely held principles, rather than on a series of ad hoc decisions on what would suit the GOP best at any given moment?