Shenanigans alert!

From a legislative staffer who remains unnamed for obvious reasons:

As you might be aware already, all of our (Senate Reps) remaining special session (6X) tax cut job stimulus bills are being heard today in Senate Rev and Tax.  Looks like the Dems have changed the rules in the middle of the game so they don’t have it on record that they voted against job creation bill and thus avoid casting a politically unpalatable vote.

Specifically, Senate Rev & Tax Committee amended its rules regarding the suspense criteria during today’s Rev and Tax hearing.  It looks like they amended the rules about when a revenue impact occurs in order to put two Ashburn bills (and undoubtedly all of the Sen Rep Jobs bills) on suspense.

In a nutshell, the two bills were amended so they would not be subject to existing committee suspense rules.  However, the committee is now proposing new rules so that the bills would be placed on suspense.

By way of background, this is the fourth year the Dems have done this (as far as I can remember), but it usually is done at the beginning of the year to place Reps at a disadvantage.  To do so in mid-stream clearly shows their true intent.

Now committees may adopt special Committee rules that are not in conflict with Senate or Joint Rules pursuant to Senate Rule 21.6 and they can adopt or change them at any time. Regardless, there must be a vote on the changes to the rules—thus the “special vote” today.

There are no rules prohibiting “suspense” files, their creation, operation or specific protocol on voting bills to or off the suspense file.

Specifically, Senator Wolk says based on the Committee Rules she wants to send all Senate Rep measures to the suspense file. This is a “motion” and is made without objection. This motion will not have a recorded vote unless a member of the Committee objects, which case the roll is called.

While we can express our displeasure in committee via each author and GOP committee members, I would hate to see us get into the sandbox of parliamentary law in that venue as we will likely ultimately lose and our message of job creation will get lost in the weeds.

— Posted by Steven Greenhut

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