Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) joined a group of 109 Republican Members in a letter to Committee on Rules Chairman James McGovern calling for the protection of the Motion to Recommit (MTR) from change by the Democratic Majority.
According to the letter, the “MTR is a critical procedural tool that gives the Minority party one last opportunity to improve legislation before a final vote on the House floor.” Recently, Speaker Pelosi and other leaders have discussed limiting or doing away with the MTR due to the Republican success in amending legislation passed in the House of Representatives. More than 10% of Republican MTRs were successful in the 116th Congress.
“The only way to pass a Motion to Recommit is with bipartisan support. In a time when we need to preserve every avenue for cooperation in Congress, taking away a tool that creates bipartisanship seems unnecessarily divisive and detrimental to the legislative process,” Guest said.
The letter can be found below.
Dear Chairman McGovern,
We write to express concern that House Democrats are considering additional changes to the rules that would be detrimental to the rights of the Minority party in the House of Representatives for years to come. Specifically, we are referring to the elimination or the raising of the threshold on a Motion to Recommit (MTR).
As you know, an MTR is a critical procedural tool that gives the Minority party one last opportunity to improve legislation before a final vote on the House floor. In fact, in the 116th Congress, just over 10 percent of MTR attempts were successful. These changes made a real difference and made these bills better.
For example, in 2019, when Speaker Pelosi brought a bill to the floor that required background checks for gun sales, House Republicans offered an MTR that required gun sellers to notify Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of any undocumented immigrant who tries to purchase a gun. The MTR passed by a bipartisan margin of 220 – 209. This marked a crucial legislative achievement for the safety and security of the American people.
In another instance from 2020, House Democrats brought a bill to the floor that would allow private parties to sue public schools for racial discrimination. To improve the bill, House Republicans offered an MTR requiring that anti-Semitism also be considered a form of illegal discrimination. The MTR passed with 255 bipartisan votes.
These and countless other examples highlight the importance of the MTR and how this procedural motion not only increases transparency between Members of Congress and their constituents, but holds members accountable and forces them to go on record for the viewpoints that they hold. Eliminating or watering down the MTR would only serve to shield members from criticism, suffocate debate on key policy initiatives, and overturn long standing House precedent. We implore you to do everything in your power to ensure that the Motion to Recommit remains unchanged. Thank you for your consideration.
Release from Congressman Michael Guest.