Reed Discusses House Rules Package

P-J file photo by Jordan Patterson

Rep. Tom Reed announced that members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, along with other bipartisan supporters, voted for the House of Representatives Rules package to organize the legislative body and potentially make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass.

Since June of last year, the caucus the Corning Republican co-chairs has been advocating for reforms to help “break the gridlock” in Congress. With their requested reforms having been adopted into the Rules package, caucus members supported it with their votes Thursday.

Caucus Republicans Reed (NY-23), John Katko (NY-24) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) voted for the rules package, which represents the first time a Democratic rules package for the House has received bipartisan support in the past two decades.

Democratic members of the caucus had originally negotiated with present House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year to reach an agreement regarding rule reform. These reforms include a “consensus calendar,” which entails how if a bill reaches 290 co-sponsors, a 25-legislative-day clock will begin to encourage consideration of the bill. If it is not reported, the bill will be placed on this calendar from which the House will draw from to speak about one outstanding bill every in-session week. Other reforms are meant to encourage transparency, a more inclusive amendment process and bipartisan agreement.

“The reforms the Problem Solvers Caucus were able to include in this rules package go a long way to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file members to govern and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass,” Reed said. “I was proud to vote ‘yes’ as a show of good faith to my Democrat colleagues and look forward to working together to pass bills to help the American people.”

Democrat and Problem Solvers Caucus co-chairman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) also expressed his optimism regarding the new rules and successful inclusion of the reforms he and his colleagues had promoted. He thanked his fellow caucus members for coming together to reach agreed upon revisions to the rules.

“Especially in this era of divided government, to solve problems, we will have to work together to deliver legislation that can get signed into law — from cutting taxes, to lowering heath care costs, to fixing our infrastructure,” Gottheimer said.