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Conservatives Pressure GOP for Recorded Votes

Tim Craig

For years, House Republicans leaders have been under pressure from House Democrats to change the rules so that all subcommittee votes are recorded.

Currently, many bills are killed in subcommittees on unrecorded voice votes, which makes it difficult to track a member's position on controversial legislation.

House GOP leaders have been fending off the push by Democrats, who believe recorded subcommittee votes would make it easier for them to knock off incumbents, to change the rules. But now the GOP leaders are also facing pressure from the right to record subcommittee votes.

Ben Marchi, state director for Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group, delivered a petition of more than 300 signatures to House GOP leaders this morning calling on them to record all subcommittee votes. Marchi, who said the signatures were gathered at the recent GOP retreat at The Homestead resort, called it a "transparency issue" so taxpayers know how their money is being spent.

"It is not a partisan issue," Marchi said. "It's a good government issue and government operates best when it operates openly."

By Tim Craig  |  December 8, 2008; 1:26 PM ET
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I'm afraid this article misrepresents the position of grassroots Democrats on this issue (or, more precisely, leaves it out entirely.) It may well be true that Republicans and Democrats in the House take the positions they do out of pure self-interest (though I would question the characterization of the Democratic side if the Democrats take the House and reverse the policy.) But many grassroots Democrats support this change as a good-government measure, through support of the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation and other avenues.

It is certainly news that a conservative group is also bringing pressure to bear, but the efforts of liberal groups should not be ignored just because they are not a "man bites dog" story.

Posted by: jimeh | December 8, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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