Lewis Responds to Democrat’s Shut-Out on First Appropriations Bill

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Lewis Responds to Democrat’s Shut-Out on First Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Democrats today reversed their decision to allow Republicans to offer pre-printed amendments to the first Appropriations bill considered on the floor this year, the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) funding legislation.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis responded to the Democrat’s unprecedented action:
“The Appropriations process has long been rooted in a spirit of compromise and cooperation in order to get our work done every year. Tonight, at their very first opportunity, the Democrat Majority has walked away from this bipartisan comity. It appears that their intent is to change the rules of the game in the middle of the first inning and shut the minority out of the legislative process altogether.
“The Democrat Majority’s disregard for the long-standing traditions of the Appropriations Committee and the rights all Members of Congress - not just the minority -  is a discredit to this institution and the people it serves. This action on the very first Appropriations bill does not bode well for the success of bills to follow.”
Note: Since taking control of Congress, the Democrat majority has largely obliterated the traditional practice of “open rules” on Appropriations bills, instead crafting narrow procedures to prevent Republican amendments and difficult votes. The CJS bill on the floor today had a less than open rule, but one which allowed Republican members to offer amendments as long as they were submitted in advance, leading to the hope for a change in their restrictive floor process. Unfortunately, after 30 minutes of debate, the Democrats pulled the plug, forcing the bill back to the Rules Committee and delaying timely consideration of this important bill.

112th Congress