Wednesday, January 11, 2012

House Republicans seek to change seniority rule *UPDATED

As predicted, House Republicans are seeking to alter the seniority rule that prevents the Speaker from wielding what had been previously called "dictatorial" power over the Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees. The Republican plan is to reduce the number of seats determined by seniority from 30 of the 33 in each committee to 24 of 33. That would mean the Speaker would have 9 at-large appointments to each committee.

Rep. Cecil Brown is currently offering a different plan via amendment, which would raise the number of committee members to 36, with 32 appointments being based upon seniority. In essence that would keep areas that had been represented on the two powerful "money" committees from losing their seats on the committees. It would still maintain Republican control over both committees.

*UPDATE at 10:53 - Brown's amendment failed, with 75 voting against it. (Meaning Democrats voted against it.)

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