Saturday, July 19, 2003

Republicans at work.

Via Billmon of Whiskey Bar. To Republicans, the rules are irrelevant:

[T]he Democrats objected to a normally perfunctory motion to dispense with the reading of the 200-page original bill and the 91-page substitute. Thomas ruled that reading of the original could be dispensed with since it had been distributed weeks ago, but conceded that the Democrats could demand a line-by-line reading of the substitute.
The reading began, with Thomas interrupting at one point to say loudly, "In the House, the minority can delay. They cannot deny." When the Democrats left for the library, Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.) stayed behind to prevent the Republicans from obtaining unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.
After several minutes, Thomas again asked unanimous consent to dispense with the reading, and instantly brought down his gavel. Stark said later that he had objected, and Thomas had replied, "You're too late."
Thomas then recognized Portman for an opening statement on the bill. Stark attempted to make a "parliamentary inquiry," and Thomas ignored him. Stark then joined the other Democrats in the nearby room.
With no Democrats present, Thomas and the rest of the Republicans approved the substitute and then the final bill unanimously by voice vote and adjourned.