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And they are off

The first five days are in the bag and the Senate has taken a decided lead in the marathon. There are 16 Senate Files that have been introduced, assigned to committee, considered and passed in committee, placed on general file, passed through Committee of the Whole, passed 2nd reading and passed 3rd Reading. They will now at the House for Introduction. It will be some time before the process begins again for these bills as the House will introduce and refer all or most of their own bills before taking up those from the Senate.

In contrast, the House has moved four bills through and to the Senate. There are a roughly equivalent pieces of legislation being worked through the various steps for both Chambers. However, the House currently has 57 numbered bills waiting for initial introduction while the Senate only has 10. There are two bills that have died in Committee and one that failed Senate Committee of the Whole.

Any bill that has not been initially introduced by the published deadlines in each Chamber will die without being considered. For the Senate, that is Thursday, January 26 and for the House, Tuesday, January 31.

Today was particularly interesting in the House. At the beginning of each new Legislature, the separate chambers operate on the Rules set for the previous until they adopt any amendments to the standing rules that will remain in effect for the two years. What is normally a couple of hours max to make any adjustments became an all day affair. Two major amendments were debated with clear lines drawn between the House Freedom Caucus and the remainder of the body. Eventually, the amendment to place restrictions on budget amendments failed while the amendment to require a 2/3 vote to "override" bill management by the Speaker or Majority Floor Leader passed.

As always, the Bill Tracker showing the progress of each bill along with a summary of status, categories and sponsorship is updated and posted under File Share on this site.

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