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House Operations: The GOP Way

From NBC's Luke Russert
Many of the newly-elected Republican members of Congress come from small business backgrounds, according to House GOP 112th Congress Transition Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon.

So, Walden says, Republicans will attempt to run the House as a small business--looking to boost efficiency wherever possible.

After praising House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for fully cooperating in the changeover process and making it “seamless,” Walden announced that the GOP transition team will consist of twenty-two House Republicans with a “good complement” being newly elected members. Walden continued to say the GOP team would be looking at everything available in order to cut costs and to make the institution “more open to public scrutiny.”

Two specifics areas that the GOP transition team will target are the internal GOP Conference rules and the rules of the House itself.

Walden indicated that a total earmark ban would be discussed within the conference as would a rule requiring all legislation to be posted on the internet for 72 hours before it could be voted upon.

He also denounced the current structure of the House in regards to scheduling. He complained that Democrats often held two-day workweeks, where committee hearings would be delayed because they fell upon the same time as votes.

The GOP will move to put a more concrete work schedule in place in an effort to cut down on the travel costs for members because they couldn’t book flights in advance due to a schedule always in flux.

Walden would not commit to continuing Speaker Pelosi’s “Greening the Capitol” initiative saying that while he’s from a conservationist state, there “were limits of what could be done to best use taxpayer money efficiently.” Thus the GOP could remove some of the more expensive LED bulbs that Pelosi installed to make the Capitol more environmentally friendly in an effort to save money.

The GOP expects to have a tangible plan for how the House will run operationally in place by January.