The unbelievable pettiness between Democrats and Republicans often makes it feel like they’re on the school playground – rather than on the House floor. One blatant example occurred last week when the GOP deregulation bill was found to have one tiny typo. The bill, H.R. 4078 is supposed to keep federal regulations from occurring until the unemployment rate falls to 6%. The typo said, instead, that the new regulations can’t be made until employment falls to 6%. They simply left off the “un.”
Requesting unanimous consent to add the “un” into the word “employment,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said “no” and made sure that the bill wouldn’t be fixed on the floor.
House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said,
“Nothing could be more insincere than to pick on professional staff on a typographical error. If we have to … go to the Rules Committee, I guess we will, but I’m really sorry to see that kind of an attitude on what the gentleman and all of us know was simply a typographical error.”
The House did continue to debate the bill on schedule, but the issue of the typographical error will obviously have to be taken care of before final passage of the bill is possible. Republicans have, understandably, argued that the fight over the typo is “petty” on the part of Democrats; they explained that when they were in the minority, they allowed the Democrats to make changes of this sort on the floor.
This type of petty and ridiculous arguing over nonsense doesn’t bode well for the parties’ ability to agree on issues; and it doesn’t set a particularly impressive example for the American people.