End Legislative Tabling

We, as Americans, tend to believe that once a bill passes one chamber of Congress it gets voted on in the other.  Sadly this is not the case 100% of the time.  There is a parliamentary procedure called Tabling ( AKA”Lay on the Table” & “Motion to Table”) which immediately sets aside the pending main motion and all pending subsidiary motions. The motion is not debatable.

In both chambers of the United States Congress, the motion to table is used to kill a bill without debate or a vote on the merits of the resolution. The rules do not provide for taking the motion from the table, and therefore consideration of the motion may be resumed only by a two-thirds vote to “suspend the rules” and “Take from the Table”.

Originally “Tabling a Bill” was only used in order to deal with another matter that has come up unexpectedly and which must be dealt with before the pending motion can be properly addressed.

Today, in the United States Congress, “Tabling” is over used and is a political strategy that attempts to lay blame on one chamber by the other.  The script goes like this:

{House is Controlled by one party, the Senate by Another}

{House Passes Jobs Bill Unanimously}

{Jobs Bill arrives in the Senate}

{Senate Leader Tables the Jobs Bill}

{Senate Leader calls on “Obstructionist Opposition Party Controlled House” to bring a Jobs Bill that will actually pass}

{House Majority Party}

WE DID!

{Senate Majority Leader}

No You didn’t!  If you DID then it would have passed the Senate!

{Senate Majority Leader goes before media}

The Opposition Party promised the American People that they would pass a Jobs Bill!  Where is it?

{Key Members of the Senate Majority Party go before the Media}

The Opposition Party promised the American People that they would pass a Jobs Bill!  Where is it?

{House}

We passed it unanimously!  You haven’t voted on it!

{Senate Majority Leader}

That is because of members from the Opposition party in the Senate are being obstructionist, they don’t want Americans to have jobs!

{House}

Wait, What?!

{Senate Majority Leader}

We need to pass legislation to get Americans back to work!

{House}

BUT WE ALREADY DID!

{Senate Majority Leader}

Don’t lie to the American People! If you had passed a Jobs Bill then Americans wouldn’t be suffering with no jobs!

{Senate Majority Leader goes before media}

My Fellow Americans, despite repeated requests to the House, we still do not have a Jobs Bill!  Make sure you vote for members of my Party at the next election so that we can take over the House and get Americans back to work!

It seems laughable doesn’t it?  Too stupid to actually happen -but it does.  AND it was a lot easier for that little game to work before the internet gave us the ability to see what was going on.  Unfortunately not enough of us actually pay attention and that is what the politicians, who play these games, are counting on.

As of the Writing of this “Game Changing Idea” there are over 350 bills that have been “Tabled” in the Unites States Senate -during the 113th Congress.  Over 50% of them were passed unanimously in the House of Representatives.  Don’t be fooled though, the House is guilty of this as well -though, to be fair, it is not being used anywhere near as often in the House during this 113th congress .

So here is the Idea:

ANY BILL PASSED IN ONE CHAMBER OF CONGRESS SHALL HAVE AN “UP OR DOWN” VOTE WITHIN 120 DAYS IN THE OTHER CHAMBER OF CONGRESS.

That gives the receiving chamber 4 MONTHS to debate, bring forth amendments, and VOTE.  It seems like common sense doesn’t it?


END LEGISLATIVE TABLING!

TO: THE PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, et al.:

I call upon the House of Representatives and the Senate to alter their respective rules and end Legislative Tabling and enact this new rule:

ANY BILL PASSED IN ONE CHAMBER OF CONGRESS SHALL HAVE AN "UP OR DOWN" VOTE WITHIN 120 DAYS IN THE OTHER CHAMBER OF CONGRESS.

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