26 February 2010

House GOP Make 5th Try at Discharge Gambit (Updated)

Updated: "For the fifth time in as many days, House Republicans have tried and failed to advance proposals from their session agenda," The Associated Press reports.

"GOP delegates allege the majority Democrats have bottled up these proposals," the article said. "But their strategy of pursuing discharge motions has so far met the same fate."

Aided by Delegate Tom Louisos, D-Fayette , House Republicans previously attempted discharge motion votes on measures targeting property taxes, same-sex marriage, abortion funding and federal health care legislation.

The item up Friday would randomly drug test poor people receiving cash assistance, and lawmakers, AP reported. The motion for that bill was idled, 71-26.

The majority Democrats have sidetracked each previous motion on procedural grounds, then kicked them into legislative limbo via the agenda-setting House Rules Committee.

Three of the discharge motions has instead resulted in floor votes over whether to postpone their consideration. But the Democrats' procedural tactic removed the vote one step further from the underlying issue.

And with Thursday's attempt, stemming from the health care measure, eight Republicans joined Democrats in derailing the discharge motion.

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