The 115th Congress has begun! In this episode, we take a quick
look at that government funding law that sets up an April funding
crisis for this new Congress and we take a closer look at the shady
new rules governing the 115th House of Representatives.
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Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes
Bills/Laws Discussed in this Episode
"Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act"
Funds the government until April 28, 2017
Funds the War on Terror until September 30, 2017
Exception for Trump's Defense Secretary Appointment
- Expedites the process for passing
a bill that allows General James Mattis to be nominated as
Defense Secretary by granting
an exemption to the National Security Act of 1947 that
prohibits the nomination of someone who has retired from the
military within the previous seven years.
115th House Rules
- Highlighted in the 113th Congress in CD038:
- Forces Federal agencies to get Congressional approval before
enacting major rules
Sound Clip Sources
Congressional Record (full transcript)
- 3:30pm EST - Rep. Steny Hoyer: Mr.
Speaker, as the gentleman knows, there is a provision in the rules
that are proposed which are not in the rules of the last Congress,
which give us great pause because we think it tends to put Members
in a difficult place from a constitutional perspective and from a
freedom-of-speech perspective. The rule, of course, of which I
speak is the rule that relates to empowering the Sergeant at Arms
to levy fines. May I ask the gentleman first: Did the Rules
Committee find that there was any precedent for such a provision in
rules historically? Rep. Pete Sessions: Mr. Speaker, I
thank the gentleman very much. I would like to refer to something
which I believe has been made available, and, if not, I would be
very pleased to do it. The House has delegated fining authority,
section 1103 of the Manual, where the House incorporates, by
reference, title I of the Ethics in Government Act. Under this
section, if a financial disclosure is filed late, the filer is
subject to a $200 filing fee. It is a fine by another name that is
administered by the House Ethics Committee. So what I am suggesting
to you is we have seen where there has been the backup of rules
that have been backed up by the levying of a fine, and I believe
that is what the gentleman is seeking.
- 3:22pm EST- Rep. Steny Hoyer: If I may
conclude, as the gentleman knows, and I won’t say thousands, but
hundreds of pictures were taken just an hour ago on this
floor—hundreds. We were in session, not in recess. *Rep. Pete
Sessions: If I could address that, and I want to do this very
gingerly because I do not want to start a battle here. The
gentleman and I both know what caused this action was a deep, deep
feeling that many Members on your side had about a particular
issue. It resulted in what could be seen as—and I saw it as—a
protest. Look, we are used to that in this body, people being
upset. We are not used to people violating the rule, and it already
was a rule that you cannot use, for recording purposes, those
devices. We did not make this up. That was already a rule. So it
became an advent of a protest.
- 3:23pm EST- Rep. Steny Hoyer: Very
frankly, I think the gentleman is correct; it was a pro- test which
gave rise to this rule which I think is ill-advised, but I
understand the difference. The protest was because—and as Rules
chairman, the gentleman probably knows this better than anybody
else—we asked for an amendment that we thought 85 to 90 percent of
the American people were for. We didn’t get transparency, we didn’t
get openness, and we did not get an opportunity to express our
views. That is why we are so concerned because we think, frankly,
this is analogous to a gag rule: to shut us down, to shut us out,
and to shut us up.
Democrats Stage a Sit-In by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, June
- Trevor Noah explains the Democrat's House floor protest
Middle East Security Challenges hosted by the Center for
Strategic and International Studies (aired on C-SPAN), April 22,
- General James Mattis on the biggest threats to the United
House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the
pay of individual federal workers to $1 by Jenna Portnoy and
Lisa Rein, Washington Post, January 5, 2017.
House votes to condemn U.N. security council resolution on Israeli
settlements by Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, January 5,
In Republicans' Ethics Office Gambit, a Spectacle of Tweets and
Retreats by Carl Hulse, New York Times, January 4, 2017.
House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal
land by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, January 3, 2017.
U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council resolution for Israel
to stop Jewish settlement activity by Carol Morello and Ruth
Eglash, Washington Post, December 23, 2016.
A Historic Numbers of Electors Defected and Most Were Supposed to
Vote for Clinton by Kiersten Schmidt and Wilson Andrews, New
York Times, December 19, 2016.
Trump's Defense Pick Challenges Rules Regarding Civilian Control of
the Military by Brian Naylor, NPR, December 2, 2016.
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