A recent vote held in the House, where Republicans currently have a majority, illustrated yet again exactly why that GOP control is so tenuous and how quickly the party’s preferences can still be dashed.
Up for consideration was a proposed amendment to an underlying bill that would have expanded the latter’s reach. The underlying piece of legislation was known as the REINS Act, and in short, it would — if fully implemented — put a substantial swath of executive action under new requirements for Congressional review before execution. The proposal targets so-called major rules, and some of the amendments that were under consideration during the debate process would have adjusted the definition of such rules to even more comprehensively reflect Republicans’ political priorities… but they failed anyway.
Though the contours may be very difficult to define, the original bill defined major rules to include those threatening an impact on the economy worth $100 million or more. An amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) would have expanded the reach of the newly required Congressional review and approval to include proposed rules with expected economic impacts of $50 million. The vote failed, meaning that those who opposed the expansion were successful, with 223 members of the House voting it down.
That group included all participating Democrats and ten Republicans, placing these members in opposition to the GOP stance largely driven these days by members like, besides Biggs himself, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (Fla.). Both backed it.
Another amendment that had been considered — and that also failed — would have put executive branch action that stood to expand abortion access under the new requirements for further Congressional examination, meaning new federal rules that could protect those forms of health care would become subject in new ways to the political whims of the shifting U.S. House.