The Conversation

Should the House and Senate Work Five Days a Week?

Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) wants the House and Senate  to work five days a week, as opposed to current practice. It also calls for the House to return to "regular order" and involves arcane processes likeyl never thought of by your average voter.

"We call it a return to 'Regular Order,' which simply means that the U.S. House will be required to abide by its own standing rules — centering on open, bipartisan debate, up or down votes on amendments, and every member’s opportunity to fully participate in the process," Nolan said. 

Ironically enough, the bill can't be introduced until; September 8th when the House returns from a five-week hiatus. Given the current process, there's no reason to think the effort will ever see the light of a day vote, let alone be passed.

Such a process would extend the amount of time needed to consider legislation, but Nolan said his proposal would give all members an opportunity to shape the bills Congress produces, rather than only a few selected party leaders.

"With some exceptions — including our full and open committee debates on the farm bill and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) — Congress has become a decidedly undemocratic institution where a few leaders make big decisions behind closed doors while the rest of 535 elected representatives of the people wait outside," Nolan said.

Under Nolan's measure, all bills would have to be considered in committee first before reaching the House floor.


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