Congressional Rules

So the Republicans got something right when they decided not to change most of the rules concerning ethics violations. They did make one bad change, namely requiring a majority vote instead of a tie in the ethics committee to start an investigation, but if the Democrats ever manage to get back into the majority, I'm sure we'll hear some squealing about the need for that to change.

But I'm not talking about the ones that everyone else has been hammering on. I'm talking about this change.

Tinkering with a tradition that goes back to Thomas Jefferson, House members in the new Congress will be able to refer to senators by name on the floor -- as long as they don't get too personal.

They will no longer have to speak of "the other body" or face admonishment from the chair when they slip up and utter the word "Senate" or name a senator.

One of my guilty pleasures in the past has been watching PMQ on C-SPAN. Britain's Parliament is just beautiful in the way they call each other out on the floor of the House of Commons. Our Congress is way too stodgy, and that allows some of the more wingnutty members of both houses to hide behind a decorous facade while acting in a decidedly different manner. I figure, if our elected representatives are going to be assholes while passing legislation, then they ought to be allowed to be assholes while they're discussing it as well.

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