A new Congress is being sworn in today, with the Republicans taking over control of the House of Representatives after gaining a majority in the midterm elections in November.
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But over the weekend, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) shared some of what the incoming GOP majority has planned in the new Congress.
Greene described one rule that “might be my favorite one after Pelosi destroyed gender in the 117th Rules.”
“Ensure that nothing prevents Members from using gender-specific language in committee or on the House floor,” Taylor Greene tweeted, along with the hashtag #OnlyTwoGenders. This was a reference to a rule passed at the start of the previous Congress which, per the AP, “struck several gender-specific terms from a document outlining House rules.”
That 2021 rule, barely mentioned in the media after it was introduced, had no force beyond those specifically passed House rules. It did not “destroy gender,” or even ban members or anyone else from using gender-specific terms in House and indeed, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described herself as a “wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter.”
Greene, long an opponent of mask mandates, added in a subsequent tweet that the new rules would “eliminate the Democrat fines for failure of Members to comply with unscientific mask mandates and security screenings before entering the House floor. Members should not face unnecessary disruptions as they carry out their constitutional duties.”
The Congresswoman also said that the GOP plans to launch a new Select Committee to specifically investigate the Biden Administration.
“Establish the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate the full extent of the Biden Administration’s assault on the constitutional rights of American citizens,” the rule says, per Greene’s tweet.
Axios wrote more about that idea for a committee, which would target “the FBI, Justice Department and the intelligence community — plus the Department of Homeland Security’s failed effort at a Disinformation Governance Board.” This joins a previously announced committee on China, as well as the proposed Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Select Committees have traditionally been rare, and it’s not often that more than one operates at once.
The House also plans to get rid of proxy voting, Greene tweeted, as well as the remote hearings that became a staple during the COVID era.
“End the use of proxy voting and remote committee proceedings, ensuring that all Members actually show up in person to fulfill the jobs they were elected and are expected to do, rather than phone it in,” she tweeted.
ABC News wrote more about the proposed rules changes, which will not go into effect until they can be voted on- and because of the drama involving the speaker vote, that might not happen immediately.
McCarthy also announced that he plans to remove the magnetometers that are outside the House chamber. And the proposed rules would also “allow legislation to zero out a government official’s salary, cut specific government programs, or even fire specific federal employees.” In addition, the House Republicans propose reforming how ethics investigations operate.
The interest group Public Citizen alleged this week that the Republicans are proposing a measure that “guts” the Office of Congressional Ethics.
“Public Citizen is writing to the House leadership of both parties asking for a commitment once again to reauthorize the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) in the 118th Congress,” Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist with Public Citizen, said in a statement.
“OCE is a bipartisan ethics office that helps monitor and report on ethics issues involving members of Congress, and frequently makes its recommendations to the House Ethics Committee on a unanimous vote. It has a proven track record of enhancing transparency and enforcement of ethics rules and has gained widespread support among the American public.”
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.