Rules Change Passes

Posted March 31, 2004 at 6:27pm

The House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday approved a leadership-backed rules change designed to keep party members together on key votes.

Caucus members approved the proposal by voice vote, after just four lawmakers spoke against the plan to give the Steering and Policy Committee new power to approve subcommittee ranking members and chairmen on exclusive committees.

[IMGCAP(1)] Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) was behind the change, which backers argued would create greater accountability for those with key appointments as well as incentives for Members to vote with the party. Opponents of the change argued it wasn’t necessary since the party is already unified and feared it would give Pelosi — who appoints many of the Steering members — greater power over the Caucus.

— Erin P. Billings