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D.C. Council Shuts Up

The D.C. Council Committee of the Whole meeting this morning lasted all of 30 minutes.

Tops.

The brevity can be attributed to new rules adopted by the council for the 18th legislative period. No more going on and on with introductions of legislation.

Each council member is limited to introducing three bills per meeting and is restricted to speaking for just three minutes about each piece of legislation. And co-introducers don't get to speak at all.

Previously, council members could introduce an unlimited number of bills, and all co-introducers could comment. The system created an amen chorus and made for a very long meeting.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said the rules were adopted "for the obvious reasons."

There can be exceptions, however, he said.

The council can suspend the rules to allow as many introductions as possible within nine minutes. The key, he said, is to talk fast.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  January 27, 2009; 12:36 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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