Friday, April 4, 2008

Watching Paint Dry

For the majority of the week, the House convened at 10 a.m. and took up motions to concur or invite conference on House bills that were amended in the Senate.
We were usually done by noon.

For the rest of the day, conference committees met throughout the Capitol. Conference committees consist of three House members and three Senate members. Each conference committee takes up a bill from which the Senate and House have both passed; however, there are small (and in some cases big) differences between the House and Senate version. If a compromise can be reached, the bill will return to the House and Senate for final approval.

If you're not a conference committee, your day consists of sitting in the House chamber, checking email or trying to track down a committee chair to make sure your bill is still alive. Freshman legislators can be seen returning long overdue emails or roaming the Capitol halls aimlessly. However, this year, we're joined by several senior members. The sad yet mildly amusing truth is that if you walk in the House chamber around 3 p.m., you see a chamber full of Republicans, both old and young, with nothing to do.