Heard on the Hill

Hoyer-Cantor, Round XXIVX

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (above) has released a new app, but Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is annoyed with some aspects of it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is good and P.O.-ed with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). This is not necessarily a surprise, given the two Members’ frequent jousts during their weekly wrap-up on the floor. But this does seem to go a bit beyond the normal parry and thrust of majority and minority mouthpiecing. 

On Tuesday, Cantor’s office released a schmancy new app that would allow Americans to co-sponsor, or “like,” a piece of legislation. It is called — drumroll please! — Citizen Cosponor.

Well, apparently, Hoyer’s folks were a little annoyed, not by the app, but by the way Citizen Cosponsor rewrites bill titles.

“We support the premise of Citizen Cosponsor, but it’s disappointing that it has been implemented in a closed and partisan way,” a Hoyer aide tells HOH. “The app is described as creating ‘a more open, visible and participatory legislative process,’ but bill titles and summaries have been rewritten with partisan language.”

To be fair, bill titles and summaries are often forcibly unintelligible and partisan, but we digress.

“[O]nly six bills have been included so far — all with either wide or GOP-only support. Instead of being a partisan gimmick, Citizen Cosponsor should follow the lead of the White House’s ‘We The People’ app, which created an open and fair way for the public to petition the government,” Hoyer’s aide said.

Among the first bills listed on Citizen Cosponsor: the JOBS Act, which has bipartisan support, and the Homes for Heroes Act, which was introduced by Democratic Rep. Al Green (Texas).

“Several of the bills on Citizen Cosponsor have significant bipartisan support,” a Cantor aide tells HOH. “This is only first stage of an innovative and interactive program.”

Topics: fightingwords