CHC to Pen Letter to Pelosi Asking for Regular Order

Posted February 12, 2009 at 1:40pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) recent pledge to loosen the legislative reins after lawmakers wrap work on the stimulus package apparently hasn’t satisfied everyone in her Caucus.

The 24-member Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday decided to go on the record pushing back against what many have called the Speaker’s top-down leadership style by endorsing a return to regular order. The CHC will make its sentiments known in a letter to Democratic leaders this week.

“There’s a general frustration in the House that was manifested today at the caucus meeting,” one CHC member said. “She had to hear from even more people on the issue.”

The CHC decision came a week after Pelosi opened the House Democrats’ annual retreat with a promise to allow the committees to do their work.

“Of course we will go forward now under regular order,” Pelosi told House Democrats last week, according to a source in the room. “We have a large majority and a president who will sign legislation.”

Pelosi at the time was attempting to deflate growing anger in her ranks over a perception that leadership was not allowing the rank and file enough input.

The night before the retreat, 68 mostly moderate Democrats sent a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) urging leaders to return to regular order. Most of the signatories on that letter hailed from the moderate Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, though neither group officially endorsed their position.