GOP Haggling With Dems Over Spending Bills

The House Democrats have shut their Republican counterparts out of the legislative process. Normally, the minority gets the right to offer amendments over spending bills, but the House Democrats have decided not to allow the GOP that right.

The Democrats claim the GOP is slowing things down — you know, so members have time to actually read the legislation they are voting on, etc. Nonetheless, Rep. Eric Cantor has offered to compromise with the Democrats on the issue. The GOP would be allowed to offer up to 20 amendments and would abide by time limitations. Democrats won’t commit.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday formally asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to cut Republicans back into the debate on spending bills, promising they would offer a maximum of 20 amendments to each bill and would abide by a set of time limitations during the debate.

Cantor had proposed the deal verbally on Friday; Hoyer has not yet responded, and a Democratic aide voiced doubt that the majority will sign on.

Why won’t the Democrats commit? Because the GOP can’t keep its members toeing the party line. My friend Paul Broun (R-GA) tried to shut the House down the other day. He made a motion to adjourn. The Speaker called a recess instead of putting it to a vote because Broun would have won.

With the GOP routinely able to outmaneuver the Democrats under the Democrats’ own rules, the Dems don’t want to play nice.

Here’s the problem for the Democrats — majorities do not last forever. The GOP will one day take over the House again. And payback is hell.