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Conservative Leaders Pen Open Letter To House Rules Committee

The conservative leaders who are part of the Conservative Action Project have released an open letter to members of the new GOP led House Rules Committee urging the Committee

to stay the course and make good on Speaker McCarthy's promise of an open amendment process and open appropriations process that is inclusive of the rank-and-file Members of the House.


The letter also urges the committee to avoid waiving all points of order, noting that a common practice in special rules of the past has been to waive all points of order against a bill and its consideration. The letter urges the Committee to abandon this practice, since there would be no reason to having modernized House rules if they were never followed or enforced.


Text of the letter and list of signers follows:

February 28, 2023

Washington, DC

We are encouraged by the new rules and standard operating procedures of the House for the 118th Congress, which have already proven to be more open and inclusive of the legislative goals of rank-and-file Members of both parties. As you develop special rules for various legislation, we respectfully request that you abide by the following guidelines.

Truly Open Rules for Appropriations Bills. All appropriations bills should come to the House floor under truly open rules, since appropriating taxpayer dollars is a core function of Congress. Avoid any requirements, such as pre-printing in the Congressional Record, that would prevent a Member from generating and offering amendments in real time during bill consideration.

Consistency for Authorizing on Appropriations Bills. The vast majority of the texts of appropriations bills consists of authorizing language, yet the practice of who can authorize on appropriations bill is not consistent. House appropriators and Rules Committee members of both parties can add authorizing language to appropriations bills in committee, and senators of both parties can add authorizing language to House-passed appropriations bills on the Senate floor. But non-appropriators cannot add authorizing language to appropriations bills on the House floor. Put another way, Democrat appropriators can authorize on appropriations bills, but Republican rank-and-file cannot. This inconsistency is unwise and unfair—and must stop. We urge you to allow all Members on the House floor to offer authorizing amendments to appropriations bills.

Strive Toward an Open Amendment Process on All Bills. Until January, Members of Congress had been blocked from offering amendments since May 2016. The new Republican Majority should embrace an open process that allows all Members of the House to participate in legislating on the floor to the maximum extent possible. Therefore, the Rules Committee should strive toward making in order as many amendments as possible.

Attach “Smaller” Bills to “Must-Pass” Bills. The House has already passed many “smaller” bills this year, single-subject “rifle-shot” bills that have little chance of passing the Senate as standalones. Therefore, we encourage you, to the greatest extent possible under the House’s newly strengthened germaneness rule, to attach in the Rules Committee these House-passed and other “rifle-shot” bills onto larger legislation that many Members of Congress consider to be “must-pass.” Examples of “must-pass” bills that are likely to pass the Senate in some form this Congress include the various appropriations bills, the farm bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, and others.

Don’t Start the Clock until 6AM. We commend the inclusion of the 72-hour rule, so that Members and the American public have ample time to review legislation before its consideration. In accordance with the spirit of this rule, we ask that the 72-hour clock never start running between midnight and 6AM eastern time and that the clock only start running when the final text of a bill becomes publicly, broadly, and easily available online, no matter what time of day. Emailing final bill text to a handful of friends on K Street should not start the 72-hour clock running.

Avoid Waiving All Points of Order. A common practice in special rules of the past has been to waive all points of order against a bill and its consideration. We urge you to abandon this practice, since there would be no reason to having modernized House rules if they were never followed or enforced.

Rules Committee Republicans Should Move with a United Front. The new Republican Majority must never rely on Democrat votes in the Rules Committee to report legislation to the House floor. All rules reported from the committee must be reported out with unanimous Republican votes.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you to further increase the participation of rank-and-file Members—and therefore the American citizenry—in the legislative process.


The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan (1985-1988)


The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.

The Honorable Paul S. Teller, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Advancing American Freedom

Thomas E. McClusky

Principal

Greenlight Strategies, LLC

The Honorable Mary Vought

Executive Director

Senate Conservatives Fund


Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.

President and CEO

First Liberty Institute

L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center

William L. Walton

The Bill Walton Show

Resolute Protector Foundation

Andrew Roth

President

State Freedom Caucus Network

David Bozell

President

ForAmerica

Tom Jones

President

American Accountability Foundation

The Honorable Bob McEwen

U.S. House of Representatives

Former Member, Ohio

Scott T. Parkinson

Vice President for Government Affairs

Club for Growth


Ed Corrigan

Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project and President & CEO, Conservative Partnership Institute

The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli II

Chairman

Election Transparency Initiative

The Honorable Scott Walker

President

Young America’s Foundation

Evan Newman

State Director, SC

State Freedom Caucus Network

Jessie Rubino

State Director, Wyoming

State Freedom Caucus Network

Connie Hair

State Director, Louisiana

State Freedom Caucus Network

Judson Phillips

Founder

Tea Party Nation

Joseph A. Morris

Partner, Morris & De La Rosa

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Reagan / Meese

Karen England

President

Capitol Resource Institute

Allen J. Hebert

Chairman

American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston

Kay R. Daly

President

Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Eaton Hopkins

Principal

MorningStar Investment Group, LLC

Robert Fischer

Meeting Coordinator

Conservatives of Faith

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman

60 Plus Association

Kristen A. Ullman, JD

President

Eagle Forum

The Honorable George K. Rasley Jr.

Managing Editor

ConservativeHQ.com

Gerard Kassar

State Chairman

NYS Conservative Party

Anne Schlafly Cori

Chairman

Eagle Forum

Gary Marx

President

Madison Strategies

The Honorable Mike Hill

Former Member

Florida State House

Mario Navarro da Costa

Director, Washington Bureau

Tradition, Family, Property

The Honorable Taffy Howard

Former State Representative

State of SD

Michelle Easton

President, Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women

Richard Rounsavelle

Trustee

MRC

Craig Shirley

Reagan Biographer

Presidential Historian

Rod D. Martin

Founder & CEO

Martin Capital, Inc.

Christina Murphy, Esq.

President

The Martin Foundation

Dr. Jerome R. Corsi

CorsiNation.com

Natasha Srdoc, MBA

Co-Founder, America's Roundtable and International Leaders Summit

The Honorable Diana Denman

Presidential Appointee

President Ronald Reagan


David N. Bossie

President

Citizens United

Lori Roman

President

ACRU Action Fund

Myron Ebell

Director, Center for Energy and Environment

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Terry Schilling

President

American Principles Project

Chad Connelly

Founder and President

Faith Wins

Noah Wall

Executive Vice President

FreedomWorks

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Chief Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)

Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Senior Legal Fellow

Conservative Partnership Institute

Jenny Beth Martin

Chairman

Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund

The Honorable David McIntosh

President

Club for Growth

The Honorable Jim DeMint

Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute

Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)

The Honorable Gary L. Bauer

President

American Values


The Honorable Donald Devine

Director, U.S Office of Personnel Management, Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)

Andrew Roth

President

State Freedom Caucus Network

Steven Utroska

State Director, Mississippi

State Freedom Caucus Network

Nick Kerin

State Director, Pennsylvania

State Freedom Caucus Network

Collin Moseley

State Director, Illinois

State Freedom Caucus Network

Ashley Baker

Director of Public Policy

The Committee for Justice

Walker Wildmon

CEO

AFA Action


C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Lee Beaman

CEO

Beaman Ventures

Joan Holt Lindsey

President

Lindsey Communications

William P. Mills, III

Member

Council for National Policy

Frank Pavone

National Director

Priests for Life

Amy Kremer

Chairwoman

Women for America First

Sandy Rios

Director of Governmental Affairs

AFA

Brigitte Gabriel

Chairwoman and CEO

ACT For America

Seton Motley

President

Less Government

The Honorable Richard Hayes

State Representative

State of Texas

Dr. Virginia Armstrong

Law and Worldview Chairman

Eagle Forum

Debbie Wuthnow

President

iVoterGuide

Jack Park

Conservative Activist and Donor

Dr. Allen Unruh

Founder

National Abstinence Clearinghouse

Aaron Aylward

District 6 Representative of South Dakota

SD Freedom Caucus

Darin Gaub

Co-founder

Restore Liberty

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

Reagan Chief Defense and Space Negotiator, Former SDI Director

Pastor Paul Blair

Reclaiming America for Christ

Liberty Pastors Network

Guillermo J. Aragon

Chief Strategy Officer

Martin Capital, Inc.

Lourdes Cosio

Campaign for the American Future

Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr.

President

STAND Foundation, Inc.

Joel Anand Samy

Co-Founder, America's Roundtable and International Leaders Summit

The Honorable Penny Pullen

President

Life Advocacy Resource Project



  • House Rules Committee

  • Speaker Kevin McCarthy

  • Open Amendment process

  • Open rules for appropriations bills

  • waive points of order

  • amendments in real time

  • open amendment process on all bills

  • Consistency for Authorizing on Appropriations Bills

  • attach rifle shot bills to must bills

  • rules committee unanimous votes

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3 Comments


At this point we cannot trust either political party. The GOP needs to be phased out in favor of a new party representing conservatives.


To that end, I would suggest we all migrate to the Founders Party of America. Please check out their website.

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They're merely asking for a system that most American's thought was the norm in Congress. I'm not sure the provision to combine simple bills into some more comprehensive form is a good idea. That's what's gotten us to where we are, where bills number in the hundreds and thousands of pages that nobody can read in a 72 hour period and that cost us trillions of dollars that must be manufactured out of thin air. Otherwise, these are good ideas that must be implemented.

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And these monstrously long bills are not written by the actual office holders themselves. That is a problem IMHO. It has led to Pelosi and others saying we have to sign the bills into law in order to know what's in them. That makes no sense at all--like saying we need to buy a car so we can then drive it and see if we like the vehicle.

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