Just As I Thought

Consolidating power

Just a little note to warn you of recent developments in Congress: the House leadership is quietly re-writing the rules to consolidate their power and keep more moderate Republicans from ruining their plans to push through an ultra-conservative agenda. See this morning’s Washington Post.

House Republican leaders, through a series of little-noticed rule changes and key appointments, are dramatically tightening their hold on power as they prepare to push for new spending cuts, bigger tax breaks and a more ambitious social agenda.

Since padding their majority in the November elections, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) have circumvented the seniority system to reward their most loyal allies with important chairmanships. They have systematically changed internal rules to seize greater authority over rank-and-file members, and they unexpectedly scrapped the eight-year limit on Hastert’s reign.

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