A Republican lawmaker from Indiana railed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in a letter after a vote to adjourn the chamber that should have taken minutes stretched into more than seven hours.
Rep. Jim Baird noted that the adjournment vote should have taken about 15 minutes but it lasted seven hours and six minutes instead while Dems negotiated throughout the day on two massive spending bills central to President Biden’s economic agenda. And while that process dragged out, Baird noted, other House business was delayed as the motion to adjourn was kept open, Fox News reported.
The motion to adjourn was opened at 8:12 a.m. EDT, Baird noted, but the vote on the motion was closed a 3:18 p.m. on Friday after Democrats moved to begin floor debate before a spending bill procedural vote.
“Intentionally holding a vote open for hours on end to score political points is a gross misuse of House procedure and sets a precedent for further highly partisan political stunts that will drastically hinder this body’s ability to fulfill its chief responsibility to govern,” Baird said in an interview with Fox News.
“While votes are often held open for a period that exceeds the initial time pronouncement due to logistics and varying circumstances needed to enable all available members to reach the House floor and cast their votes, the reasons for keeping this November 5 vote open for an indefinite amount of time were exceptionally unclear and unreasonable,” Baird noted in his letter, which he said he will likely send on Monday.
“This is not how the People’s House should operate.”
The Indiana Republican noted further that the “purpose behind holding any vote is to reach a consensus among members,” noting further that it was “clear early on in this vote, after an overwhelming majority of members participated, that the motion was going to fail.”
“When Congress is in session, voting is the most important duty that any member has,” Baird wrote. “That, however, should not embolden Leadership to effectively freeze members’ time for undetermined periods by creating uncertainty over how long a particular vote time is going to last or whether Congress is even going to call for more votes on the same day.”
He also ripped the delay as “all too commonplace in the 117th Congress” while noting that the practice is “not necessary, nor appreciated.”
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Republicans are being criticized for rescuing the infrastructure package when it — and Biden’s economic agenda writ large — appeared on the verge of failure.
“Just before midnight on Friday, we witnessed an utterly disgraceful act by a group of 13 House Republicans. Given the chance to deal a severe blow to President Biden’s flailing agenda, they instead rescued him by providing Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the votes she needed to overcome resistance from the far Left of her party,” Philip Klein wrote at National Review early Saturday.
He went on to note that Pelosi was a few votes shy of guaranteeing passage when the group of Republicans agreed to vote in favor.
“With only three ‘no’ votes to spare within her own caucus, Pelosi lost six Democrats — enough to sink the bill,” noted Klein.” “Yet 13 Republicans swooped in to rescue Pelosi, provide Biden with the biggest victory of his presidency, and put the rest of his reckless agenda on a glide path to passage in the House. Politically, it’s unclear what Republicans are thinking.”
He added: “Every Republican who voted for this monstrosity who is not already retiring should be primaried and defeated by candidates who will actually resist the Left-wing agenda. Those who are retiring should be shamed for the rest of their lives. It also is not too soon to be asking whether Representative Kevin McCarthy should be ousted from leadership for his inability to keep his caucus together on such a crucial vote.”
The 13 Republicans are Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick; Don Bacon; Don Young; Fred Upton; Adam Kinzinger; Jeff Van Drew; John Katko; Tom Reed; Andrew Garbarino; Nicole Malliotakis; Chris Smith; and David McKinley.
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