The Oregon GOP tactic to slow down the passage of bills came to a close last week after a pair of House Republican representatives agreed to join Democrats to suspend the rules stating all legislation is to be read in its entirety before it is voted on.
On Wednesday, May 29, Rep. Bill Post (R-Keizer) and Rep. Mike Nearman (R-Independence) broke ranks with their parties to give Democrats the two votes needed to return to the custom of allowing bills to be read by title only before voting.
While the Oregon constitution requires all legislation must be read in full, it has become customary for that rule to be suspended in favor of reading the titles of bills only, in order to more efficiently vote on legislation.
But in the face of a Democratic super majority, House Republicans felt the only way to push back against legislation they disagreed with was to return to constitutional rules, creating a month-long legislative traffic jam as hundreds of pages were forced to be read aloud for hours on end.
With just a month to go until the end of the 2019 legislative session and most of the Democratic priorties have already passed, Post and Nearman felt that the legislative body needed to return to its former rules in order to get through a backlog of more than 100 bills before the end of session.
"I was sent here to vote on bills and best represent my district. Nearman and I are principled conservative Republicans and I think we're all ready to vote and go home," Post said in a press release. "It's time to move on and face the music of a supermajority."
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