Earlier this week, Campaign for Liberty asked our members to take action on the Department of Defense appropriations bill by calling their representative and demanding they urge the House Rules Committee to bring the bill to the floor under an open rule, allowing up-or-down votes on amendments.
Well, it's clear the pressure is having an effect as the Rules Committee unexpectedly delayed a meeting Thursday where they were to consider a rule governing debate on the legislation.
The bill will not make it to the floor until at least next week, so it's vital that C4L members double-down and keep the pressure on their representatives.
Contact your representative today at 202-224-3121 and demand they urge the Rules Committee to adopt an open rule on the DOD appropriations bill. If Leadership refuses to allow an open amendment process (the only way for members of Congress to do their job and for conservatives to have the chance to actually CUT spending), ask your representative to vote against the rule.
Again, if your representative sits on the House Rules Committee, they especially need to hear from you immediately.
RPI's Daniel McAdams explains why the prospect of this legislation coming up under a modified closed rule is so bizarre:
House leadership hoped to limit discussion of and potential votes on issues it considered too hot to handle by offering up a very unusual modified closed rule to govern the debate on the Floor of the Defense Appropriations legislation this week. As RPI reported earlier this week, appropriations bills are customarily debated under an open "five minute rule," whereby Members have the opportunity to offer up any amendment that does not violate Rule XXI, i.e. that does not seek to use legislative language to alter the underlying appropriations bill. What this means is that Members can move to strike funding for any program or policy or whatever they wish in the appropriations bill. Defunding a particular part of the legislation is in effect killing it, which of course does have policy implications. The amendment process in the appropriations bills is a key way that Members can make their concerns heard over the direction of the spending.
Issues like defunding the NSA, preventing weapons or military aid to Egypt and Syria without Congressional authorization, and numerous other issues of vital importance deserve to have a debate and receive an up-or-down vote. Demand the Rules Committee put forward the DOD appropriations bill under an open rule!
UPDATE: Via Roll Call,
The Rules Committee plans to mark up the rule for the Defense appropriations bill at 5 p.m. on July 22, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Friday that the House will consider the DOD appropriations bill next week.
Keep those calls coming!
Tags: Appropriations, DOD appropriations, department of defense