House Speaker Paul Ryan appointed two Texans – Pete Sessions of Dallas and Jodey Arrington of Lubbock – to the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. They are two of the four House Republicans selected to serve on this bicameral, bipartisan Select Committee of 16 members.

The current spending process is broken (note the recent bloated $1.3 trillion Omnibus conservatives have repeatedly criticized) and needs to be scrapped. If our Texas delegation is serious about draining the swamp, let’s start with a simple concept.

Congress should reclaim and exercise their Constitution’s Article I powers to rein in the Deep State bureaucracy.

Who will be the member from Texas that sponsors a House Rules change to call for an Article I Calendar for legislation to be considered on the House floor?

The House of Representatives has special days for non-controversial legislation, private calendars, District of Columbia business, and the like, but nothing geared specifically to draining the swamp by reasserting Congress’ Article I powers.

Discussions with Washington insiders tell us it’s easier to do than many in Congress want us to believe. Here are some insider tips:

  1. Set aside Wednesday every week for Article I debate and votes;
  2. Limit debate time to 10 minutes equally divided just like one would do if considering an appropriations amendment on the House floor;
  3. Majority vote needed for passage;
  4. Every Committee should have an Article I subcommittee that is fully funded to work with the Oversight Subcommittees.

Wednesday is the only guaranteed day of the week the House is typically in session for the whole day. Oftentimes, the House will start the week either mid-day on a Monday or a Tuesday and depart on a Thursday or a Friday.

Wednesday is the only guaranteed day we can set aside to protect our freedoms and liberties if the Texas delegation wants to drain the swamp.

Caution: Don’t let any “Domers” offer a different day if someone sponsors this amendment!

Leadership floor staff will tell members, “we don’t have floor time.” Seriously? If they have time to rename post offices and attend fundraisers, then they have time to take on the DC bureaucracy.

It should be a simple majority vote to rein in rogue agencies. Too many Republican Committee staff ask members of Congress if they “have a Democrat on board”  before taking action on legislation. Unsurprisingly, that’s a question Democrat Committee staff never asked when they had the majority.

The GOP should not continue to shackle their majority to the whims of the Democrats.

Claiming and reasserting Congress’ Article I powers will not happen overnight. It will no doubt take time to re-educate members and staff, since Congress has spent a century delegating away many of their powers and authorities to the executive and Judicial branches. It will be time well spent.

Taxpayers will be monitoring the actions of the entire Texas delegation to see who wants to meaningfully reform the budget and appropriations process. Texans will no longer tolerate messaging and posturing; we want action and results.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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