Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Resolution to vote on bills early fails

The vote on HR4, the resolution to suspend the constitutional rule against bringing bills to the floor in the first 60 days of a legislative session, has been conducted, and the resolution has failed, with 34 votes against, more than enough to sink it. Given that only 142 votes total were cast, 23 nays would have been sufficient, as the 4/5ths provision refers to total membership, not those present. Looks like the debate got a little contentious – see here, here, and here for examples. That last link contains some data that I think gives the whole debate some perspective:

[Democratic Rep. Jim] Dunnam is up now. Says look at the facts of what we are really talking about. “We are told if we don’t pass this, the whole House will come to gridlock. I have the calendars from the last several sessions. In the 76th legislature, do you know how many were brought up in the first 60 days? Two! In the 77th, we brought up six. In the 78th session, six came to the House floor, and in the 79th session, ten bills. Those include the emergency bills. So you are being told if we can’t bring up ten bills in the next 60 days the Senate is going to rule the world and the sky is going to fall. If we can’t take up 6-10 bills in the next 60 days, nobody’s bills are going to be passed. That’s not credible. You know that.”

For better or worse (and in my opinion it’s for the better), the Dems (plus Robert Talton, the lone R to vote No) prevailed. We’ll just have to see what happens next. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Looking at the list of nays, I’m struck by a couple of things: Six freshman Democrats voted against Craddick. Several members not known for being agitators – I’m thinking people like Scott Hochberg and Mike Villarreal in particular, but there are others – voted against Craddick. Rick Noriega, who was named to Appropriations despite being a vote against Craddick for Speaker, voted against Craddick. Make of that what you will.

I’m told that this vote in years past has been conducted on the same day as the Speaker vote. While it’s easy to see why that didn’t happen this time, you have to wonder if holding it after committee assignments came out was a smart move by Team Craddick. Maybe he should have kept the leverage he had. On the other hand, maybe he’ll spin this as “I didn’t retaliate in committee assignments, and this is the thanks I get.” Who knows? This session has already been more interesting than the two (regular) ones that preceeded it.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

One Comment

  1. anony says:

    Craddick didn’t care whether the rule was suspended or not. He gets his agenda through either way. He considers his win on the speaker challenge to be an affirmation of his power and a mandate for more of the same.

    The main thing to watch for are the people who are slowly coming to realize that Craddick doesn’t give a shit about them. Even the “Craddick Ds” know this, and they’ll demand just rewards through the policymaking process for their loyalty. He tends to create a slow burn in his enemies, and this is due, in large part, to his arrogant chief of staff.