February 10, 2024 - On Friday, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) announced a reform to strengthen Americans’ trust in Congress. Her proposal would change a procedure that can be abused by individual Members of Congress to disrupt House business.
“Americans see a Washington that is broken and not working in their best interests,” said Rep. Porter. “Too many half-baked censure, expulsion, and impeachment resolutions have wasted time that Congress could’ve spent addressing problems Americans face every day, like the cost of housing and finding affordable child care. My proposal would help make Washington work better and cut down on the partisan games, helping Congress earn back the people’s trust.”
The leadership of the majority party in the House typically controls what bills can be voted on by the entire House. However, resolutions that are privileged—which include conduct-related reprimands like censure, expulsion, impeachment, and motions to vacate the Speaker or committee leadership—must be brought to the House floor for a vote within two legislative days, if the sponsor invokes that privilege. This process can be used as a tactic to leverage a particular outcome or delay the House from conducting its business, like the motion to vacate the Speaker in October 2023 that left the House without leadership for over three weeks.
Allowing any single Member of Congress to bring serious matters like censure or impeachment to the House floor before proper deliberation and due process consumes valuable time that the House could spend legislating. Congresswoman Porter’s proposed rule change would only grant privileged consideration to resolutions that have been reported out of committee or referred by a party’s conference/caucus.
Rep. Porter’s proposal is cosponsored by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Delia C. Ramirez (D-IL), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).
Congresswoman Porter is a strong advocate for holding Washington accountable to the American people. She’s led the charge to ban congressional stock trading with her STOCK Act 2.0, and she’s introduced legislation to give Americans visibility into how Members of Congress spend their time at work. Rep. Porter also founded and co-chairs the End Corruption Caucus, an initiative to get Washington back to serving the people—not special interests.
Source: Congresswoman Katie Porter