Legislating by ambush.

The House today passed the Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act, which would, “for the first time, allow shareholders of corporations to at least have a say in the salaries given to executives.” Passage came only after conservatives attempted to use a legislative device called a “motion to recommit” to kill the measure. It’s been a common tactic in the 110th Congress. “The strategy is to institute a divisive change to the bill at the last moment, often unrelated to the original intent of the legislation, hoping that the altered bill can then be defeated on final passage.”

Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, who introduced the bill, spoke out against today’s motion to recommit in his usual biting and entertaining way. Watch it: