Instead of fixing a clerical error in a bill that would rein in federal regulations, House Republicans made things even messier when they realized the resolution to fix that mistake also had an error in it as well.
“Mistakes happen,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), “As silly and embarrassing as they are.”
The first mistake was that one word in the bill was somehow changed by the House Rules Committee from “unemployment” to “employment” – that changed the meaning of the underlying bill, which would block new regulations until the jobless rate went below 6 percent nationally.
Just two letters – “un” – made a big difference.
Republicans tried to get unanimous consent to fix that error on the House floor, but Democrats refused, forcing the GOP to go back through the House Rules Committee, delaying action on the bill.
So, the Rules Committee approved a correction – but, then made another mistake by referring to the wrong resolution governing debate on the regulations bill.
“Yes, there was a very minor error,” Foxx acknowledged.
That left Republicans asking for consent again on the floor to make a second change.
Democrats let the GOP twist in the wind for a little while on the House floor, poking fun at their inability to get the proper legislative language in order.
“Knowing the animosity on that side to “U.N.” – I can understand why, psychologically, that would have happened,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who couldn’t resist getting in a few zingers at the GOP over their latest bill drafting issue.
“This is more than simply a double error,” added Rep. Frank (D-MA). “This is a matter of haste.”
Democrats also weren’t immune to the mistakes, as Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) seemed to be confused about the difference between a bill and resolution of the same number, as he spoke on the floor about a bill dealing with tribal recognition for a Native American group in Virginia.
After a lot of head shaking in the press gallery, Republicans ultimately corrected their correction and moved ahead on the regulations bill.
But it wasn’t easy.