Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 5, 2015

‘Regular Order’ to Budget Conference Isn’t Quick: Wolfensberger

Don Wolfensberger, a scholar at the Wilson Center and Bipartisan Policy Center, a Roll Call columnist and a former staff director of the House Rules Committee, follows up on our May 7 post, “Could Democrats Work Around ‘Budget Bullies’?” Here’s his analysis:

Niels’ post pointed out that while a move to go to conference on the budget resolution cannot be filibustered, there are unresolved complications about debate time and a possible lengthy sequence of votes that could rival a budget “vote-a-rama.”

The piece goes on to cite the Budget Act’s limit of one hour of debate “on any debatable motion or appeal related to the conference report (or a message between the houses),” the latter of which past parliamentary guidance suggests “would be the relevant standard” in this instance.

While that is technically correct, unfortunately it is not the stage of the process at which the Senate currently finds itself.

In rightfully calling out Republicans for past insistence on the regular order for adopting budget resolutions and going to conference, Majority Leader Harry Reid has been using a unanimous consent request to take up the House-adopted budget resolution, insist on the language of the Senate-adopted budget resolution as an amendment and authorize the appointment of conferees. Some have asked why Reid just doesn’t offer the UC language as a motion and get a roll call vote on it. Certainly that would get Republicans on record one way or another on how serious they are about the regular order.

The problem is this: What Reid is offering it is not the regular order and such a motion would not be in order. That’s because he is attempting to short-circuit the regular order under the Budget Act, which requires taking up the House budget resolution as a matter of first consideration, subject to 50 hours of debate, including the consideration of amendments. The Senate-passed language would most certainly be offered as the first amendment in the form of a substitute. But then it would be subject to further amendments, debatable for not more than two hours each. That could mean Reid filling the amendment tree to block Republican amendments for a 50-hour stall, after which amendments could still be offered but not debated — the dreaded vote-a-rama.

If and when the Senate finally completes action on the House budget resolution, it would send it back to the House as amended. The House, under the regular order, could either disagree to the Senate amendment and request a conference or concur in the Senate amendment with a further amendment, setting up a ping-pong match between the houses. It is only then that the one-hour debate limit rule kicks in for messages between the chambers (which means amendments between the chambers).

This is day 53 since the House sent its budget resolution to the Senate and the Senate adopted its own resolution and sent it to the House. House Republicans say the delay is necessary for the two bodies to pre-conference their differences and thereby avoid the prospect of endless, nonbinding motions to instruct conferees after 20 days of conference have elapsed. Senate Republicans have been countering Reid’s unanimous consent requests with proposed modifications to guarantee reconciliation instructions are not used to increase taxes or the debt limit.

The longer this drags on, the more ridiculous and hypocritical Republicans are looking over their previously avowed regular order worship. I would suggest the GOP not object to Reid’s next UC request to go to conference and in return strike an agreement for offering a motion to instruct conferees on taxes and the debt limit, with one hour of guaranteed debate time and a clean up-or-down vote (no tabling motion). Then let the House disagree to the Senate amendment and request a conference.

Anything less at this point would raise the regular odor.

Comments (40)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:17 a.m.

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Many thanks

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  2. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    6:13 a.m.

    Appreciate it for helping out, excellent information. “Courage comes and goes. Hold on for the next supply.” by Vicki Baum.

    https://ssl.panoramio.com/user/8746552

  3. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    10:52 a.m.

    I keep listening to the news lecture about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get some?

    http://wiki.ubuntu-tw.org/index.php?title=How_To_Get_Cheap_Homeowners_Insurance_In_Florida

  4. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:10 p.m.

    Some really marvellous work on behalf of the owner of this web site, utterly outstanding content material.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  5. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:30 p.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  6. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    3:44 p.m.

    I consider something genuinely special in this site.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  7. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    5:58 p.m.

    Glad to be one of the visitants on this awful web site : D.

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  8. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    7:24 p.m.

    An attention-grabbing dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write extra on this matter, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    10:57 p.m.

    I just couldn’t depart your site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  10. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:48 a.m.

    I am glad to be one of the visitants on this outstanding web site (:, regards for putting up.

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  11. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    5:41 a.m.

    I was looking through some of your articles on this website and I think this website is very informative! Keep on posting.

    http://www.chow.com/profile/1561675#

  12. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    8:19 a.m.

    I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :)

    https://community.intuit.com/users/3461178-romeogil21

  13. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:20 a.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  14. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    4:58 p.m.

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

    http://fandaily.info/tutorial/how-to-buy-property-with-no-money-and-bad-credit-2/

  15. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    9:35 p.m.

    Yay google is my queen aided me to find this outstanding website ! .

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/auto-insurance-quotes-nationwide.html

  16. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:30 a.m.

    you’re really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a wonderful job on this topic!

    http://bathmatehydromax-x30.weebly.com/blog/merawat-masalah-lemah-tenaga-batin

  17. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    5:32 p.m.

    I’d have to test with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do! I take pleasure in studying a post that will make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!

    http://www.warriorforum.com/showthread.php?t=1094532

  18. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    5:51 p.m.

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    http://brookereviews.com/product/canada-pet-care-review-complaints-and-coupon-code-10-things-you-should-know-about-canadapetcare-com/

  19. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    5:21 p.m.

    Can I simply say what a aid to find someone who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know methods to deliver an issue to light and make it important. More folks must learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant believe youre not more well-liked since you definitely have the gift.

    http://przedszkole-roza.pl/

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    6:10 p.m.

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

    http://www.consultdustry.com

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    10:44 a.m.

    Can I simply say what a relief to seek out someone who truly knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know methods to deliver a difficulty to gentle and make it important. Extra people need to learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre not more common because you definitely have the gift.

    http://self-employment-jobs.com

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    7:31 p.m.

    I like this web site so much, saved to my bookmarks. “I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.” by Dorothy Parker.

    http://www.teenchoiceawards2015live.com/

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    3:26 a.m.

    Hi there, I found your website via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:40 a.m.

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    2:28 p.m.

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Cheers!

    http://curiousamerica.com/online-auto-insurance-quotes

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    1:40 a.m.

    Would love to forever get updated great web site! .

    http://dnvappliance.com/washer-repair-orange-county

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    11:34 a.m.

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

    http://www.thewalkingdeadseason6live.com/

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    12:49 p.m.

    You have noted very interesting details ! ps nice web site.

    http://refrigerator-repair-oc.com/jennair-refrigerator-repair/

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    7:31 p.m.

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

    http://site440357-8295-8916.strikingly.com/

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    5:56 p.m.

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

    http://www.superbowl.com.tw

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    11:59 p.m.

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/geico-insurance-quotes.html

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    5:48 a.m.

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/primerica-insurance.html

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    7:47 a.m.

    Hello very cool web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionallyKI’m glad to find numerous helpful info here in the publish, we’d like work out more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

    http://prezentnachrzciny.blog.pl/?attachment_id=24

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    8:41 p.m.

    I?¦ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    9:53 a.m.

    I conceive this site has got some rattling superb information for everyone. “I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.” by Wernher von Braun.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/pemco-insurance.html

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    10:14 p.m.

    Some genuinely choice posts on this internet site, saved to fav.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/131050418@N06/20103692784/

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    9:34 p.m.

    Hi! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

    http://parc-life-ec.com/

  38. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    3:16 a.m.

    TnM5Zk Some really choice blog posts on this site, saved to my bookmarks.

  39. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:34 p.m.

    Fantastic post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

    http://ivecoczesci.blog.pl/

  40. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    2:10 a.m.

    Hiya very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I am glad to find so many useful information right here in the post, we’d like work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

    http://fororegistrocivil.es/Foro/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=5961

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...