Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shock!! Nay....AWE!!!!!!!

Dems may repeal term limits for House chairs

"House Democrats tentatively plan to repeal term limits for committee chairmanships when the 111th Congress convenes on Tuesday, according to senior House aides. The result would remove one of the signature reforms from the 12-year House Republican rule and likely would cause angry debate during the usually ceremonial opening day festivities.....

The planned rules changes -- of which the end of term limits would be a key piece -- are being tightly held by a small number of senior Democratic staffers, in part because Democrats fear public discussion would create a media firestorm. Actual details are not expected to be completed until Monday, during a planned meeting of the Democratic Caucus. The House typically takes up its biennial rules package immediately after members have been sworn in and a Speaker elected for the new Congress, and while many lawmakers -- especially freshmen -- are busy with celebratory parties....

Another controversial prospective rules change, which would have more immediate impact on day-to-day activities in the House, is a significant weakening of the "motion to recommit," which provides the minority party at least one opportunity to offer an alternative to pending legislation. Republicans likely will say that this change runs directly counter to President-elect Obama's promise for more openness in Washington, though it is unlikely that Obama is familiar with the prospective parliamentary revisions."

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