Friday, April 11, 2008

Breaking the Rules

The rules just don't apply to Nancy Pelosi, and Paul Hodes isn't about to force her to obey them. The out-of-control House Speaker abused her power again this week, forcing a vote to change House rules on the Columbia trade agreement. Fast-Tract procedures guarantee such agreement an up or down vote within 90 days of submission, but Pelosi was under tremendous pressure from labor to kill the deal. Since the House would have easily passed the agreement, she just changed the rules to avoid a vote. If Nancy Pelosi doesn't like how the House is going to vote, she won't let them vote.

Paul Hodes response? Silence. Hodes has time and again let Pelosi abuse the legislative process and subvert the will of our elected representatives.

On border security, Pelosi won't let an enforcement bill come to the floor. Paul Hodes is a cosponsor, but won't push Pelosi to schedule a vote.

On terrorism surveillance, Pelosi let authority for our intelligence services expire, even though a bipartisan majority of the House and Senate were in favor of it. Hodes again was silent.

Now, on a trade agreement that would give American exporters equal treatment with foreign competitors, Pelosi doesn't like the bill, and Hodes lets her get away with subverting the will of the House. Keep in mind, this wasn't about opposing the substance of the agreement. This was about preventing the House from even voting on it.

If such abuses sound familiar, they should. Tom Delay used similar tactics when he ran the House. Pelosi and Hodes ran against such abuses of power. But now that they have the power, they have no problem abusing it.

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