New Amendment Rules in Congress Make Process More Democratic

When I was in the Illinois House in the 1970’s, any member could offer an amendment to a bill that was on the House floor.

That was during what was called “Second Reading.”

Each amendment had to be disposed of prior to final passage, called “Third Reading.” (“First Reading” was when the bill was introduced.)

When I say “disposed of,” I mean it had to be voted upon or withdrawn.

I remember one year in which I put a killer amendment on every Public Aid bill.

The usually Democratic Party sponsors were afraid to call their bills because of the Roll Call vote that would have to be taken.

On a couple I was convinced to withdraw the amendment.

Not so anymore.

All amendments have to go first to the House Rules Committee.

If they are acceptable by the Leadership, then they go to the committee in which the bill was previously approved.

Such a dimunition of democrary.

Such a taking of power from individual House members.

Now, conservative Republicans in Congress have rolled back similar restrictions on floor amendments, lessening the power of the House Speaker.

Good move, I’d say.


New Amendment Rules in Congress Make Process More Democratic — 3 Comments

  1. Of course Democrats can now offer amendments from the floor as well.

    Nothing will get passed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.