Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Morgan Griffith on Regular Order

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

"Progress Made on Returning to Regular Order

Those who read this column often are likely aware of my efforts to ensure that the House of Representatives follows a more regular order and better adheres to the principles of Thomas Jefferson’s Manual of Parliamentary Practice. I am pleased to report that we have made some progress in this area.

According to the office of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), since he became Speaker, an average of nearly 30 amendments per bill have been given consideration on the House floor. From my observation, prior to Speaker Ryan being Speaker, the number of amendments per bill allowed to be debated on was substantially less.

Additionally, last week on the House floor, there was a communications human error. Certain Members had asked for a recorded vote on a bill, but the “ball” was dropped and the bill initially passed in a voice vote. It was a mere mistake, but I believe that six months ago, the attitude would have been, “It was a mistake. Let’s move on.”

Instead of that response, which would have angered some Members, everyone worked together and found a parliamentary process to allow the vote to take place. It is true that time was spent discussing the matter behind the scenes, and it did take an extra 30 minutes on the floor to work this out. But doing so sent a clear signal that the House is running more fairly.

In the end, everyone felt good about the process.

Finally, the House last week approved two conference reports trying to sort out the differences between similar pieces of legislation passed in the House and Senate.

While I am pleased by this progress, I will continue working with my colleagues to return the House of Representatives to a true deliberative body and prove to the American people that we will conduct their business in a more transparent and regular manner.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives."