WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents the Greater Olean area in Congress, plans to vote for the rule package that Democrats have proposed for the 116th Congress.
“This vote isn’t about partisan politics. It is about doing what is right for the American people,” Reed said in a statement.
No member of Congress has voted for a House rule package of the opposite political party since 2001. The rules set procedures for operation of the House.
Reed, the Republican co-chair of the bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said the inclusion of reforms introduced by the caucus was a key to his decision to vote for the Democratic rules.
“The reforms the Problem Solvers Caucus were able to get included in this rules package go a long way to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file members to govern and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass," he said. “We are proud to walk the talk of reaching across the aisle to best serve the people who sent us here.”
The U.S. Constitution provides that each Congress, upon convening, approves its own governing rules of procedure. A new session will convene Thursday with Democrats holding a majority in the House. Republicans have held the majority since 2011.
According to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who will become Speaker of the House when the new congressional session begins, the new rules will make Congress more transparent, ethical and professional.
“These transformational, historic changes will allow Democrats to clean up Congress so that we can deliver results for the American people: lowering health costs and the price of prescription drugs, increasing paychecks while rebuilding America with green, modern infrastructure, combating the climate crisis, reducing income disparity and strengthening democracy for the people," she said.
Pelosi and Rep. James P. McGovern, the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Rules, unveiled the new rules in a joint statement Wednesday.
"We are proposing historic changes that will modernize Congress, restore regular order and bring integrity back to this institution," McGovern said. "It unrigs the rules so the people’s house actually works for the people again."
Details of the new rules are available here.