House Adopts GOP Rules After Partisan Debate
The House on Thursday adopted Republican-written rules for the chamber that reflect the party’s efforts to cut spending, stop government regulations and oppose same-sex marriage.
The Senate put off discussion of its rules so that the Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, could develop a proposal to curb filibusters, and try to win support from Senate Republicans.
Traditionally, the House rules package reflects the majority party’s legislative positions and is opposed by the minority. The package passed in a mostly party-line vote of 228-196.
Members from each party debated many of the issues that divide them. Democrats tried unsuccessfully to include provisions against corporate political donations from secret contributors, ensuring that voters don’t wait in long lines and opposing intervention in same-sex marriage court cases.
The rules would allow the House to continue to intervene on behalf of the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court has agreed to take a potentially historic look at the law, planning to hear two cases that challenge the government’s different treatment of gay Americans.
Republicans ignored the plea of openly gay Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who argued that Republicans should remove the provision because they were supporting a "federal takeover of marriage and a lawyer stimulus. It’s the wrong foot to start on."
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., described the Republican rules as an effort to lay out a policy to address job creation, control of the growth of government and limit wasteful spending. He said the package includes proposals to:
-Identify duplicative programs and examine the usefulness of existing government programs.