GOP-Controlled House Makes Major Change

Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

( – The House floor is undergoing a big change this week. Since 2016, there has not been legislation that has hit the House floor that anyone was allowed to amend and have voted on.

May 2016 was the last time that the modified-open amendment process was used for an appropriations bill.

Especially in the past two years, the Democrats have focused on legislation that was “must-pass” and did not allow for amendments on the floor, according to a report from Fox News. An example of such legislation was the $1.7 trillion spending bill that was passed right before the end of the previous Congress.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans have been trying to bring back the process of having amendments brought to the floor instead of just quickly passing legislation to squash complaints that party leaders are not taking into account rank-and-file members when drafting legislation.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., wrote to House Representatives last week that the House Republicans wanted to ensure that all members would be allowed to get a say during the legislative process. This is why the “modified-open amendment process” would once again be an option for a bill starting this week. The legislation on the House floor dealt with oil and gas development on federal land before any future withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Through the new process, all House members were allowed to offer amendments to this bill when debates kicked off. Debates for the bill began on Wednesday, January 25.

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