WASHINGTON (CN) – House Republican leaders proposed new rules that would replace the Democratic “pay-as-you-go” principle with new procedures aimed at cutting spending. The draft package is set for debate by the House Republican Conference on Jan. 5, the opening day of the 112th session of Congress.
“[The rules package] makes clear the intention of the new Republican majority to manage the House differently than both parties have done so in the past,” House Rules Committee Ranking Republican Rep. David Dreier of California said in a press release.
House GOP leaders also announced plans to read the Constitution in its entirety on the House floor on the second day Congress is in session on Jan. 6.
As part of the new rules package, members would be required to cite the Constitutional basis for each new bill or joint resolution.
“This will serve to refocus members of Congress, with every bill they introduce, on the Constitution that they take an oath to support and defend,” House leadership stated in a press release.
“If we want the federal government to do something that’s not authorized in the Constitution, then we should amend it first,” Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., said in a statement. “We’ve amended it 27 times. What we should not do and what has been done too often is to ignore the Constitution.”
The proposed rules would replace current “pay-as-you-go” rules for new legislation, which require bills to be offset with 1, 5 and 10 year plans, with “cut-as-you-go” rules, requiring bills with mandatory spending to name cuts elsewhere. Also, mandatory spending could no longer be paid for by tax increases, the draft rules state.
The rules would also require appropriations bills to include a “spending reduction account” in which money removed from the spending bill would be placed in an account as opposed to removed from the bill entirely.
The new rules would also require bills to be available to the public online three days before a vote.
“Placing bills and other texts online for the American people to see will increase public scrutiny and accountability and yield a better legislative process,” House GOP leadership stated.
Additionally, House committees would be required to post committee rules online, provide three-day notice for markups and provide text for markups at least a day in advance, post committee votes on markups online within two days, post the text of amendments and member attendance records online, and provide webcasts of hearings and markups.
Committees would also be required to file two progress reports per year, as opposed to one.