Congress Goes Nuts Over Somewhat Comical Typo
The House of Representatives wants to vote on a bill that would "prohibit major federal regulations until the unemployment rate falls to 6 percent," meaning it wants to ban new regulations permanently. Unfortunately, the version that House Republicansentered yesterday said that "federal agencies would be barred from issuing new regulations until the labor secretary submits a report 'that the Bureau of Labor Statistics average of monthly employment rates for any quarter beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act is equal to or less than 6.0 percent.'" Did the Democrats politely let House Republicans change this to unemployment? Only after screwing around with them for a while.
Earlier in the day, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he would not grant unanimous consent to add "un" to the word "employment" and thus fix the bill on the floor. And Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) indicated that Democrats were not willing yet to allow the quick fix.
House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked Connolly if he would object to a unanimous consent request to make the correction. Issa cast the error as a mistake made by professional staff.
But in reply, Connolly said, "This member will reserve the right to object at the appropriate time."
"Nothing could be more insincere than to pick on professional staff on a typographical error," Issa shot back. "If we have to … go to the Rules Committee, I guess we will, but I'm really sorry to see that kind of an attitude on what the gentleman and all of us know was simply a typographical error."
Connolly then took umbrage with Issa's remark, and asked the presiding officer, "Did this member hear … the distinguished chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee characterize a member as insincere?"
Ha ha, silly Darrell Issa is... right. But what is this dumb bill anyway?
UPDATE: A friendly tipster emails, "YOU FUCKING MORONS! THE \'CONGRESS GOES NUTS\' POST IS OUTDATED == TURNS OUT THERE WAS A SECOND TYPO!" OKAY, Jesus Christ:
To fix that, the House Rules Committee approved a rule that, once passed by the House, would deem the bill to be corrected to say "unemployment." But that rule incorrectly refers to the main rule for the bill as H.Res. 783, when it should have said H.Res. 738.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) asked for unanimous consent to fix that numbering error, in order to proceed to the rule fixing the "unemployment" error. But she was met by Democrats who said the second error, while understandable, shows that Republicans are moving too quickly on legislation.
"I do think this is more than simply a double error," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said. "It's a matter of haste."