The GOP's Secret Weapon? Regular Order

The GOP's Secret Weapon? Regular Order
J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Republicans are gearing up for a fight for the ages. And they have a secret weapon to aid them.

Well, it's not entirely secret, just so obscure and arcane that it has escaped notice.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spoke about this weapon last week in his opening speech to the Congress:

When I came into this job, I pledged to restore regular order. Get the committee system working again. Hold regular House and Senate conferences—because only a fully functioning House can do the people's business. We've made great progress since then. Take our work on finding cures for deadly diseases . . . or beating back the opioid epidemic . . . or our work on mental health. These are all things we should be very proud of. These efforts were directed by the committees and crafted by the members—all through regular order. But there is still a lot of work to do—like a fully functioning appropriations process, for example…

[T]o our returning members, I want to say, ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.' This is the kind of thing that most of us only dream about. I know—because I used to dream about it. The people have given us unified government. And it wasn't because they were feeling generous. It's because they wanted results. How could we live with ourselves if we let them down? How could we let ourselves down? I have for many months been asking our members to raise their gaze and aim high. Now, let us not be timid, but rather reach for that brighter horizon.

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