Today is a big day for members of Congress. It’s swear-in day and the day that Nancy Pelosi will be voted as Speaker of the House again. Also on today’s agenda, the House will vote on a 45-page rules package for the 117th Congress.
On Friday, Speaker Pelosi and House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern announced the proposed package. The rules proposed indicate that Speaker Pelosi knows the winds are shifting against her and she is pacifying the socialist/Marxist wing of her party. Pelosi’s Democrat majority has shrunk to a very narrow one, thanks to a record number of victories by Republican women in November. She needs the votes of the far left as well as the more traditional Democrats in the House in order to secure her speakership and then get legislation passed.
The 45-page rules package includes a sop to the most woke among us. Pelosi calls it a “visionary rules package”. She says there is no more “tinkering around the edges of ethics reform.” In one area, in particular, the priority is to appear as inclusive and diverse as possible. In order to “honor all gender identities”, pronouns and familial relationships will be gender-neutral. The hypocrisy is that while the written text is to be gender-neutral, the spoken word does not have to be when members of the House are on the floor or in committee.
In an effort to be inclusive to those who don’t identify as a specific gender, the rules package strips all mention of gender-specific pronouns and terms such as “man,” “woman,” “mother” and “son.”
The Office of the Whistleblower Ombudsman, for instance, is renamed in the rules to the “Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds.”
There’s nothing in the rules that prohibit members from using gender-specific terms when speaking on the House floor or conducting business.
It may seem like no big deal but this kind of action dehumanizes individuals and attacks the family unit. This is bending to a very small minority of people who do not identify as one gender or the other in order to promote a liberal view of inclusivity. One goal of Marxism is to destroy the family unit. It’s a slippery slope. Normalizing an absence of gender should not be a priority, especially when so many other important issues need to be addressed. The rules will make permanent the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Social experimentation is going mainstream in the new Congress. I agree with Rep. Kevin McCarthy. This is stupid.
This is stupid.
– A father, son, and brother https://t.co/bG9SlRAy6N
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 2, 2021
The rules include thwarting the efforts of the minority party (the Republicans) by eliminating the “Motion to Recommit” to the House floor. The minority uses it to change the language in legislation, usually to force an uncomfortable vote from the majority. The move rarely succeeds but it’s being eliminated. It is mostly used to show divisions between parties on legislation. Instead of being done on the floor of the house before a vote, the Motion to Recommit goes back to the committee and likely dies there – out of view from C-SPAN viewers or cable television coverage of important votes.
For instance, Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., offered a motion to recommit on the House floor in December to landmark legislation that was about to pass to legalize marijuana. Lesko wanted to add language that private sector employers retain the right to test employees for marijuana use. She was able to pick off 11 Democrats for her motion, but it still failed. The overall legislation passed the House.
McCarthy, rightly, slammed this move.
“The Democrats just destroyed over 100 years of representation in Congress,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Nancy Pelosi wants to silence your voice and consolidate what little power she has left. Her time is limited.”
Floor privileges for former members of Congress convicted of crimes connected to their service or election will be revoked in the new rules package. In a move that can be construed to be smack at Republicans, the new rules make it a violation of the code of conduct for members, officers or employees of Congress to identify a whistleblower. You may remember that both Rep. Louie Gohmert and Sen. Rand Paul named a man believed to be the intelligence community whistleblower whose report prompted the impeachment inquiry.
The rules package also prohibits members from knowingly distributing manipulated images or “deepfake” videos. The keyword there is “knowingly” because often distribution of a deepfake is unintentional. The person is not aware that the video is a fake one.
Another new committee is created in the rules – the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth. The committee “requires committees to incorporate plans for how their work in the session ahead would address disparities.” That means there will be meetings and lots of jawboning but little else.
Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert of Colorado will be able to carry her gun. She wrote a letter to House leadership Friday, urging them to keep a 1967 rule that exempts lawmakers from a ban on firearms inside the Capitol building. The letter was signed by 82 other current and incoming GOP Congress members after 21 Democratic lawmakers asked for the change to be made. That Pelosi didn’t push for the change to appease the gun-grabbing leftists in her caucus is an interesting twist.
21 Democrats wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking her to stop me from being able to carry on Capitol Hill.
I choose to defend my family and my life with all of the force the Constitution provides.
I’m honored that 82 of my colleagues have decided to stand with me. pic.twitter.com/OBkVuAFvv7
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 1, 2021
A major change is the elimination of paygo – the requirement that members find a way to pay for legislation when it is introduced. This will allow Medicare-For-All and the Green New Deal to be pursued without any plan for paying for such expensive legislation – trillions of dollars at stake. It’s a dream come true for progressives. Rep. Ilhan Omar is pleased about this.
End of Nov, the Progressive Caucus decided on a set of progressive rules reform priorities: Paygo reform and MTR reform ranked high on that list.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 1, 2021
Pelosi’s time is limited. She had to cut a deal to retain her speakership last time around and will no doubt have to reassure her members that she will not run again in order to win this time around. The up and coming progressives want her gone and she has frustrated most of what is left of moderate Democrats with her botched efforts in dealing with the coronavirus stimulus packages. When she admitted she intentionally delayed negotiations until after the presidential election, she hammered another nail in her coffin for many moderate Democrats trying to get some relief for their constituents.