Open House: More than 140 amendments submitted in one night as new McCarthy rule starts
The House is set to vote on an oil-related bill on Friday after sifting through more than 140 proposed amendments that were submitted earlier this week thanks to the lower chamber’s modified open rule.
Under House rules, lawmakers are typically limited in the number of amendments they can submit for a bill. However, under the modified open rule, which hasn’t been used by the House in seven years, any member is permitted to propose an amendment so long as they are submitted one day before the legislation is introduced on the House floor.
REPUBLICANS’ HOUSE RULE CHANGE OPENS DOOR FOR DEMOCRATS TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS
The open rule hasn’t been used by House lawmakers since May 2016. However, the method was revived after several conservative Republicans pushed for a more open legislative process in the lead-up to the House leadership elections in early January.
“The entire time the Democrats were in the majority, those four years and three years in the past, you have not had a bill come to this floor under an open rule,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters on Tuesday. “This is what we promised the American public. This is what we promised the members on both sides. There will be more openness, more opportunity for ideas to win at the end of the day, and as we move forward.”
Lawmakers submitted more than 140 amendments to the Strategic Production Response Act, which seeks to limit the president’s ability to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and would require the federal government to increase the percentage of federal lands that are leased for oil and gas production. Because open rules allow any amendments to be submitted, the proposed changes varied widely in topic.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
The bill was considered a safe test ground for the open amendment process since it won’t pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House has promised to veto it even if it did.
The House voted on each amendment through a voice vote on Thursday, with some proposals being considered through a roll call vote. Lawmakers are set to vote on the legislation as a whole on Friday.