Image Credit: ogles.house.gov
By Congressman Andy Ogles (R-TN-District 5) –
It matters how Congress works. For the last several years, a few select Members of House Leadership – from both parties – have worked in secret to draft bills and prevent most Members of Congress from having any kind of say over important pieces of legislation. If Members want to introduce an amendment to improve a bill, “too bad, so sad”. Unless House Leadership likes your idea, it probably won’t even be debated – much less voted on.
That’s what I fought against all of last week. When House Leadership tries to deny the right of rank-and-file Members to influence the debate, they’re really limiting the right of the American people to influence the debate of what’s being considered in their name. That’s unacceptable, and it’s why I was proud to join nineteen of my colleagues in saying enough is enough.
Last week I fought for the people of Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, I fought for increased accountability and transparency, and I fought to deliver historic change to the way that Congress operates.
Here are some of the ways that Congress will fundamentally change thanks to the efforts of twenty conservatives:
• Appropriations Reform Passing appropriations is the most important responsibility Congress has. We pushed for an “open rule” process for appropriations – which allows for germane amendments to be considered by the House for debate and a vote. The new Rules agreement will ensure that the legislative body closest to the people – the House of Representatives – actually has the ability to amend spending bills for the benefit of our constituents.
It has been nearly 7 years (May 2016) since a Member of Congress has been able to amend a bill on the House Floor. The new Rules package changes that and gives every Member at least 72 hours to review a bill before it’s voted on. We’ve seen what DC backroom deals have done to the American economy. No more.
• Greater Representation for Conservative Members: Members of the House Freedom Caucus obtained commitments for more Conservative Members to be added to the Rules Committee, providing another layer of accountability to Congressional procedure.
• Holding Leadership Accountable: The Motion to Vacate has returned. We’ve reinstated a centuries-old rule allowing one member to move to vacate the speaker’s chair. If Speaker McCarthy fails to deliver on his promises, we can make a motion to remove him as Speaker of the House at any time. Nancy Pelosi removed this option, and we brought it back.
• Stop Washington’s Spending Spree: Omnibus bills are gone! No more omnibus bills allowing for the expenditure of trillions of taxpayer dollars with minimal oversight. We will place specific concrete limits on spending attached to the debt ceiling increase and a cap on discretionary spending. No more “pay-as-you-go.” Instead, we will use a “cut-as-you-go” measure by refusing to consider legislation that increases mandatory spending within a five-year or ten-year window.
• Delivering on Promises: A vote on border security and term limits, formation of a committee to address the weaponization of the DOJ, and an end to COVID mandates and its funding mechanisms. Also, bringing back the Holman Rule, which allows Members to introduce amendments to appropriations legislation to cut the jobs and salaries of federal employees like Dr. Fauci, who are failing to serve the American people.