NPR logo Pelosi Ally Praises Boehner's House Rules

Pelosi Ally Praises Boehner's House Rules

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), a long-time ally of fellow Californian, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, likes the way the House is operating under Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), at least when it comes to how the debate over another stop-gap spending bill is being conducted.

Boehner has let the debate over the continuing resolution to fund government spending past March 4 occur under a so-called open rule that gives House members the chance to offer amendments.

Miller said:

It was a pleasure working around the clock last night. This is the way it was when I came here. This is an open rule. This gives people a chance to throw up their amendments. I don't agree with them but we can debate them and decide one way or the other.

It's rather retro. We haven't operated this way in probably a decade. But I think it's encouraging, so you can air out these issues so people can have a chance to speak on them and represent their constituents in this more open debate.

So you give him credit for this more open process. I guess that raises the question: why didn't Speaker Pelosi have a more open process?

MILLER: I don't know. But the fact is this is where we are now...

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Miller and Boehner worked closely when the Republican chaired the House Education Committee in the early 2000s; Miller was the panel's top Democrat.

One achievement that grew from their good working relationship was House passage of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

So there's a good history between them. Still, considering how nasty the partisanship is in Washington, Miller's praise is noteworthy.