Republican Procedural Tactics Throw Mothers Under the Bus
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Harking back to this morning's pyrrhic Republican stand against motherhood
Republicans, unhappy with the Democratic majority, have been using such procedural tactics as this all week to bring the House to a standstill, but the assault on mothers may have gone too far. House Minority Leader John Boehner, asked yesterday to explain why he and 177 of his colleagues switched their votes, answered: "Oh, we just wanted to make sure that everyone was on record in support of Mother's Day."
The majority has taken, once again, their go-it-alone policy," Boehner lamented yesterday. "It's time for Democrats and Republicans to work together."
To induce this working together, Boehner decided to stop the House from working at all. As House Democrats tried to pass legislation to ease the mortgage crisis on Wednesday, Republicans served up hours of procedural delays, demanding a score of roll call votes: 10 motions to adjourn, half a dozen motions to reconsider, various and sundry amendments, a motion to approve the daily journal, a motion to instruct and a "motion to rise."
The high point came just after 6 p.m., when, after one of the motions to adjourn, 61 members lined up to change their votes, one by one. Forty-six went from aye to no, while 15 changed from no to aye. The maneuver ate up 28 minutes in all -- and caused an eruption by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who accused the minority of a "filibuster by vote changing."
Yes, they have been doing this all week, but they didn't start this week, and this is hardly the worst case. I'll see you mothers, and raise you grandmothers, grandfathers, children, grandchildren, a widow, and holocaust survivors
Republicans are outraged. Democrats are putting forward a resolution holding White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress. House GOP rank-and-file are planning a dramatic walk out when the vote is called.
Democrats are affronted. Right in the middle of the Statuary Hall service for the late Tom Lantos, a Republican went to the floor -- just steps from the solemn proceedings -- and called a procedural vote, apparently out of pique.