WASHINGTON -- Congress already closed out the year with the least productive legislative session in history. And now, House Democrats pointed out Monday, House Republicans can add another record to the roster: the most closed session in history.
While Republican leaders began 2013 with the declaration that regular order would be restored, behind the scenes, the majority adopted 44 closed rules over 12 months -- the highest number on record for any year.
A closed rule is a procedural maneuver that prohibits any amendments to bills up for a vote on the House floor, unless they are recommended by the committee reporting the bill. While both parties have used such tactics while in the majority, Democrats will go on the offense Monday to highlight the new records set by Republicans to pursue their own agenda with little input from the minority, according to officials who previewed the strategy for The Huffington Post.
The statistics are detailed in a "Minority Views" article that Democrats will submit to the House record: Republicans adopted 19 closed rules during the government shutdown in October, the most in a single week; the House GOP approved 11 closed rules on Oct. 4, also during the shutdown and the most in a single day; and House Republicans approved 20 closed rules for appropriations bills over the last year, more than any other year on record for the typically open appropriations process.
"Under this closed regime, the majority pursued a partisan agenda with vigor, holding 46 votes to undermine the Affordable Care Act, taking the full faith and credit of the United States hostage and shutting down the government in order to placate an extreme faction of the majority," House Democrats wrote. "Meanwhile, important national priorities such as reforming a broken immigration system, preventing gun violence and extending emergency unemployment benefits went unaddressed."
The office of Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House...