Newspaper Column: Government by Walkout




Nicoson, William J.

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Reston Times


On the morning of July 18 this year, Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee th in the U.S. House of Representatives wanted more time to review a 90-page bill released to them at midnight the night before. It was a major bill which would accelerate a number of retirement contribution limits enacted in 2001. Beginning in 2004, an individual would be able to contribute annually $15,000 a year to a 401(k) plan and $5,000 to an IRA. Those aged 50 or more would have still higher limits. Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), was determined to move forward with the Committee’s legislative agenda, and he denied the request. The Democrats then refused to accede to the usual motion to dispense with an oral reading of the bill by the committee clerk. As the clerk droned on line by line, the Democrats walked out of the meeting, taking refuge in a House library nearby and leaving only one of their number to prevent unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.


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U.S. House of Representatives