Republican Representative Bryan Shupe last month proposed a rule change that would limit the Speaker’s power to “pocket veto” bills by assigning them to the House Administration Committee and to guarantee that all bills, no matter whether they are sponsored by Republicans or Democrats, get heard in committee as the rules say they should be.
This is an area where progressive opponents of the Speaker and his leadership team and the minority Republica caucus can find common cause, because the Speaker often bottles up progressive bills he does not like along with Republican ones that no sane person would like.
Shupe says he plans to introduce a proposal giving a committee hearing automatically to any bill that hasn’t been heard in its assigned committee within 12 days of its introduction.
He also proposes amending House rules to put any bill on the House floor if it is released from committee and not added to the agenda within 12 days. The House agenda is controlled by the House leadership, and often bills that are released from committee do not get on the agenda, or are reassigned to unfavorable committees.
Because it is the GOP proposing this (a GOP that is mainly interested in their own messaging bills, bot in governing for the many), I think it is important to reverse engineer this and think about how this proposal could be misused. All bills getting to a committee and all bills that get past the committee come to the floor is just asking for weeks and weeks of anti-CRT, don’t say gay, and whatever culture war bullshit the GOP has to show their supporters they are doing — mainly at the committee level. I’d be OK if the rule was adjusted to require some threshold of support in the form of a specific percentage of Representatives who have signed on as co-sponsors. Every bill that shows up to a committee with 30% (say) body support gets a committee hearing. Any below that threshold are heard at the discretion of the House Leadership/Committee Leadership.
I think that is harder to game and it does make sure that bills with support in the House get a real hearing.