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Rules panelists fail in effort to alter a rule

SHARE Rules panelists fail in effort to alter a rule

Watch those little rule changes. Sometimes they could "really impact you," Rep. Gerry Adair warned House colleagues Monday afternoon.

Several members of the House Rules Committee failed to strike out a sentence in the current House rules book that says the Rules Committee could not table a bill without the written consent of the sponsor.

The Rules Committee decides which bills will be heard by which standing committees, go to the floor for votes or die quiet deaths.

"This is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful committee" in the House, said Adair, R-Roy. For years the Rules Committee met behind closed doors, but now it is open, although it often convenes on short notice.

Democrats worried that the GOP controlled Rules could kill their bills without their knowledge and with little notice if allowed to table a bill without the consent of the sponsor.

Some Republicans, like Adair, agreed. "They can still hold bills in rules. But (denying Rules the power to table) keeps our options open, to appeal to the speaker or rules chairman to give our bills a chance to be heard," Adair said.