REPUBLICAN MAJORITY DISREGARDS RULES AND BASIC MATH TO MARGINALIZE DEMOCRATS

December 30: Today, assignments to House committees were released. Under the Rules of the New Hampshire House, the membership of committees “shall be divided between the two major political parties in the same proportion that the House membership of the majority party bears to the House membership of the minority party.”


The committee membership established by Acting Speaker Sherman Packard for the House Finance Committee plainly violates this rule by appointing 9 Democrats and 12 Republicans (Democrats are entitled to 10 seats on a 21 member committee, based on the House ratio of 212/187). There is no recent precedent for this type of noncompliance with House Rules on committee membership. House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) released the following statement:

“This is yet another disheartening example of House Republicans attempting to shut Democrats out of the process. Committee membership is an important aspect to service in the House and the ratio of committee membership, which is clearly laid out in House Rules, has always been a nonpartisan exercise determined strictly by math. If the Finance Committee is to consist of 21 members, Democrats are entitled to 10 seats on the committee. The Republican Party is trying to say that 2+2=4 except for this one time, when 2+2=5.”

“In the budget passed last term, House Democrats prioritized public education and property tax relief for Granite Staters. The new Republican majority has already indicated they will slash education and jack up property taxes to fund another corporate tax giveaway. Since Republicans do not believe they can win based on ideas, they are attempting to use every trick possible to keep their unpopular agenda out of the spotlight. The GOP can try to silence us all they want, but House Democrats will continue calling attention to budget decisions that increase taxes on New Hampshire families.”


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