Doing it the way the founders did it….
In the wake of the two-year budget deal the former House Speaker John Boehner negotiated with the Obama White House, Congress still needs to enact appropriations legislation to keep the government funded after the current continuing resolution expires on Dec. 11.
When asked at a Tuesday press briefing whether the Republican House will put policy riders on that appropriations bill, newly House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Congress has the power of the purse and expects to use it.
A reporter asked: “Topline budget numbers are done, omnibus isn’t. How are you going to approach the issue of riders? Are you prepared to have a confrontation over those riders? And what is your attitude about the importance of riders or social policy in the next vote?”
“We have a tough deadline, Dec. 11,” said Ryan. “We’ve got not a lot of time bewteen now and then, so we’re going to have to put together appropriations. But this is the Legislative Branch, and the power of the purse rests within the Legislative Branch, and we fully expect we’re going to exercise that power.”
With a unified Republican conference behind him, Ryan also said he anticipates doing business “the way the Founders intended.”
First up is a highway funding bill: “We’re opening up the process,” Ryan said, with “lots of amendments considered by all members from both parties.
“I think it’s a good example of how we’re going to do the people’s business. And I’ve told people, we’re going to do more of this. I’m very committed to a complete set of changes to the House rules to make it a more deliberative, participatory process.
“We’re going to do this as a team, and we’re going to get this right for the American people.”
There has been significant debate in Congress this year about whether to permit federal funding of Planned Parenthood, an issue that could be addressed in a “rider” attached to the next government funding bill.