Boehner's First Order of Business: Decrease His Power

Rule package expected to be approved by GOP today
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2011 12:27 PM CST
House Speaker-designate John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks after meeting with Republican elected governors on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – John Boehner may be the incoming speaker of the House, but he doesn’t want a whole lot of power. In fact, one of tomorrow’s first votes could be on a package of rule changes Boehner says will decentralize power—and even allow minority-party members to have more of a say. Of course, "new speakers always say they want to have a more open process," Rep. Anthony Weiner tells the Wall Street Journal. “Then the sheer demands of making the trains run on time and getting things passed requires that you change your mind."

Boehner’s rule change package, expected to be approved by House Republicans today, includes a requirement that legislation be posted online 72 hours before going to the floor, so that bills will no longer be changed the night before a vote, as well as a requirement that lawmakers vote on whether to raise the federal debt ceiling rather than doing so automatically when a budget is passed. He has promised to “work with members on both sides of the aisle” as he attempts to get things done, but will have to walk a tightrope as he also tries to appease the many freshman Tea Party representatives.

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