Monday, January 29, 2007

Will the 60-Day Rule Be Suspended Again?

An interesting twist that comes out of the Craddick committee appointments is how the vote will now go in the Texas House to suspend the Constitutionally-mandated 60-Day Rule. Texas Speaker Tom Craddick is requesting all House members attend Tuesday to vote on suspension of the 60-Day rule. This rule has been suspended at the beginning of every congressional session but one awhile back. It prevents members in the House from bringing any votes to the floor until March 1st.

Craddick wants it suspended again so that he can start the year with a bang (as if it hasn’t already) to continue to press his conservative agenda that is so harmful to so many Texans, but helpful to the moneyed interests that support him: those who brought us the Republican Majority in 2002 and have continued to help fund Craddick's speaker's PAC—Stars Over Texas. This PAC has helped Craddick retain power through its contributions to the campaigns of key Craddick allies as well as to the campaigns of challengers to anti-Craddick Republicans.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Craddick needs a 4/5ths majority to suspend this rule. That’s 4/5ths of 150 votes. Thirty-one votes will keep the rule in force.

Now before the committee assignments were announced, Laylan Copelin at the Austin American-Statesman wrote an intriguing article on how Craddick was blaming the ice storm on the delay of his committee assignment announcement. Then Copelin mentioned Tuesday’s vote, and how Craddick could delay the announcement until after the vote in order to get those 121 votes.

Now we know that won’t happen, and we also know that there are at least 27 votes out there from members who cannot possibly be any more marginalized than they already have been by Craddick in their speaker committee assignments.

That leaves a grand total of 4 more votes to stop Craddick until March 1st.

Think they can scrounge up 4 more votes?

Is The Pope German?

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