Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Republican Stalling Costs Taxpayers

Yesterday was a particularly bad day on Capitol Hill in terms of stalling and procedural nonsense. House Republicans wasted a little over 3 hours of the legislative day on procedural motions. The worst was the almost two hours wasted on trying to adjourn, starting first thing in the morning. Then came the hour to process motions to reconsider unanimous (416-0) or nearly unanimous (413-1) votes, and the subsequent motions to table those motions.

Before your eyes glaze over I'll get to the point. Not including things like electricity and the salaries of support staff, these maneuvers cost taxpayers nearly $110,000 dollars.

This figure is derived by taking the full salary of the House of Representatives ($74.3 million), breaking it down to the per minute cost ($594.86), and multiplying that by the amount of time wasted (184 minutes). I'm sure with a little time that I don't have, we'd be able to figure out the total cost (I'd be willing to bet a beer it's over $300K). However, $110,000 wasted is $110,000 wasted.

While our own Representative Scott Garrett didn't make these ridiculous taxpayer robbing motions, he didn't vote against them or stop his colleagues. Since he did vote to reconsider these votes, one has to wonder if he had a change in heart when voting for things like recognizing National Nurses Week.

There are times when procedural motions serve a purpose, but robbing the taxpayers shouldn't be one of them.

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