Fun with congressional procedure as House Republicans find a way to bring legislative action to a halt in order to clear room in the schedule for Representative John Boehner (R-OH) to make it to a “beach party” fundraiser at Cantina Marina down by the Southwest Waterfront:
C-SPAN viewers who tuned in to watch the late-running House votes at around 6:30 p.m. were treated to an odd sight. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) insisted that the clerk read an unusually long 55-page motion to recommit aloud — a process that took an excruciating 40 minutes, halting House business. Squirmy Democrats began wondering what was going on. Soon an aide pulled up a blog post reporting that Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) had scheduled a 6 p.m. “Beach Party” fundraiser — at $250-$5,000 a head — at DC’s waterfront Cantina Marina.
Boehner’s spokesman denies that the scheduling of a massive procedural delay at the exact same time as the fundraiser had anything to do with the fundraiser. Rather, “We forced the reading of the MTR to protest the un-democratic rules the Democratic Leadership is insisting on for the appropriations process, which do not allow Republicans the opportunity to step in the way of their out-of-control spending spree.” But protest or no, the fact remains that they could have organized this stunt at all kinds of different times, but instead they scheduled the protest to coincide with the fundraiser.
The Sunlight Foundation’s Political Party Time website is a pretty neat resource. You can read about how the fact that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s “Blue Dog” Democrats insisted on slowing down the markup process didn’t just make it more likely that tens of millions of Americans will lack adequate health insurance for years to come, it also prevented Blue Dog members from needing to work nights this week thus freeing up valuable opportunities to rake in special interest cash at fundraising parties.