Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Battle of Wills

One of the great characteristics of our form of government is the power that is instilled in the people.  No matter how powerful one elected individual is, it can be counterbalanced with a sufficient support of public will.  This public will is typically translated into the will of their representatives who then act accordingly to carry out their constituent's best interests while interacting with other representatives.

Within the House of Representatives, I see this will carried out on major issues.  However, it also is carried out in a smaller degree on seemingly mundane issues.  The key though, regardless of the size of the issue, is to garner support.  The work of a Representative is the work of playing on a team.  When I lifted my bill the other day, I lobbied nearly half the House and the Speaker to make sure what I wanted to do would be supported by the group at large.

Yesterday, we had a wild demonstration of what happens when that sort or team effort is not made.  Let me set this up for you.  A Representative from Utah County had an immigration bill he wanted to have debated.  The Rules Committee had decided not to hear any contentious immigration bills this year while we waited for HB116 from last year to come back from the litigation mill.  The Rep's bill was stuck in Rules Committee and was going to stay there since it lacked the votes to be passed forward and heard in a Standing Committee.  However, a "Motion to Lift" can be used to overrule the Rules Committee and this Representative felt that this move was his best bet to get the bill going forward.

The only problem is that it requires the majority will of the House or Representatives to do so.  Here is video of the emotional showdown that ends in a motion killing recess action:

Because he lacked the will of the body, the result was not what the Representative desired. 


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