Proposed Rules For Money Committees
Yesterday, the Rules Committee adopted HR 7, a change that would alter the way committee assignments are handed out on the two money committees in the House- Ways & Means and Appropriations. Basically, old rules from the one-party days require the Speaker to appoint all but three members based on seniority among the five old Congressional districts.
The new rules would keep each committee at 33 members, and prohibit someone from serving on both. But the Speaker would have a little more discretion with at large members. He would now be able to appoint nine members of his choosing, with six each from the four current Congressional districts. Those appointments would again be based on seniority.
And here is a definition of seniority: “For the purposes of this rule, “seniority” shall mean length of service, continuous or interrupted, in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. However, seniority among members having the same length of service shall be determined as follows: first, continuous, uninterrupted service in the House; second, continuous, uninterrupted service in the House and Senate; third, interrupted service in the House; and fourth, interrupted service in the House and Senate.”
We will try to get a rough order of seniority here later today. Besides the rule change, defeat and retirement among some long-serving Democrats already helps out the GOP. Here was our story on the youthful Republican majority from December. It wasn’t that long ago most parts of the state wouldn’t elect Republican legislators, and many Democrats have survived even with the new GOP majority. Translation: Democrats would still stand to do very well on committee assignments under the old rules.
I suppose this will be the first big floor vote for the new majority, although I don’t see or know of a lot of opposition to changing this rule. Most people probably agree with giving the majority party the majority in their committee assignments. According to Elizabeth Crisp, look for this to hit the floor today.