January 16, 2023
Washington, D.C.–As part of the negotiations involved in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker of the House, several rules were reinstated or added to the Rules package for the current Congress.
First, several rules were reinstated:
- the rule allowing for a Motion to Vacate. This rule, which was suspended by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will allow a single member of Congress to force a vote on removing the House Speaker. If this rule is invoked, the Speaker will then need to gain 218 votes to remain in his position.
- the CUTGO Rule. This rule establishes that if a new government program if planned, there must also be termination or reduced spending on an existing government program of equal or greater size in the same bill.
- the Hollman Rule. This rule allows amendments that would reduce the salary or fire specific, non-elected federal employees, or cut specific programs; thus permitting financial consequences for bureaucrats who abuse their power.
Second, the House will reopen to the people so that people will be able to watch the session and tour in person.
Third, the House will create two subcommittees: one modeled after the Church Committee (which was formed by the Senate in 1975 to investigate abuses by the CIA, FBI, and IRS.), and one to investigate COVID response. The COVID committee will investigate:
- The origins of the corona virus including but not limited to the gain of function research.
- The efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the use of the taxes and relief programs to address the pandemic.
- Development of vaccines and treatment including implementations of vaccine policies for the Federal employees and Armed Forces.
- Economic impact of the pandemic and government response on individuals, communities, small businesses, healthcare providers, states and local government entities.
- Societal impact from closing schools including how decisions were made and if there is a widespread learning loss or other negative effects.
- Executive branch policies, deliberations, decisions, activities, and internal and external communications about the pandemic.
- Protection of whistle blowers that provide information about waste, abuse, or other improper activities.
- Cooperation of the executive branch and others with Congress, the Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office and others in connection with oversight and preparedness response.
Fourth, all meetings and votes will now be held in person. Proxy voting is no longer allowed.
Fifth, several changes were made to the bill process:
- Bills are now required to be posted for review for a full 72 hours before being presented for a final vote. This will eliminate the practice of posting bills in the middle of the night, thus effectively reducing the review period.
- Bills may only address one subject. A statement must be submitted for the Congressional record setting forth the single subject of the bill. Amendments or motions to add items to the bill must be germane to the topic of the bill.
- Federal income tax rate increase may not be considered as passed or agreed to unless determined by a vote of 3/5 of the member’s voting.
Several bills are to be put forward in the coming days:
- H.R. 7 – Prohibit taxpayer funded abortions
- H.R. 21 – Provide development of a plan to increase oil and gas production on Federal Lands.
- H.R. 22 – Prohibit Secretary of Energy from ending oil reserves to China
- H.R. 23 – Rescind Balances made available to the IRS
- H.R. 26 – Prohibit Healthcare practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child that survives an abortion.
- H.R. 27 – Amend Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to direct district attorney and prosecutors’ offices to report to the AG
- H.R. 28 – Require National instant criminal background check system to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when a person is illegally trying to buy a firearm
- H.R. 29 – Authorize Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of immigrants
- House Resolution 2 – Establish a select committee on strategic competition between the U.S. and China
- House Resolution 3 – Expressing the sense of Congress condemning the recent attacks on prolife facilities, groups and churches
- House Resolution 4 – Expressing support for the Nations Law Enforcement Agencies and condemning any efforts to defund or dismantle
- House Resolution to establish a select committee on the weaponization of the Federal Government as select investigative subcommittee of the Committee of the Judiciary
- A bill to rescind the $80 billion in IRS funding under the Inflation Reduction Act
- Legislation to impose term limits
- A plan to address the Southern border crisis
Special thanks to Melissa Daves for her contributions to this article.