It's been a tough week of typographical errors for House Republicans. Yesterday, the House nearly approved a bill that would've put a freeze on major federal regulations forever because of a typo. Today, in trying to fix the error, made another clerical snafu. "YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING," tweeted Cox Radio reporter Jamie Dupree. "House GOP makes second clerical error on bill to rein in federal regulations." He later reported just after 11 a.m., "House Republicans finally able to fix double clerical error on bill reining in federal regulations." But for everyone else watching, this is what your Congress did at the office today.
The original typo centered on the inadvertent writing of "employment" instead of "unemployment." As a result, the bill, which sought to freeze all significant regulations until the unemployment rate drops to 6 percent, said something very different, The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz reported
As written, the bill says the reverse — that new rules could only be issued once the employment rate is 6 percent or lower, or in other words, when the unemployment rate is 94 percent or higher.
When they fixed that, the bill's sponsors introduced a second typo, referring to H Res 783, which doesn't exist, instead of H Res 738, which does exist. "In the attempt to make one correction, another mistake was made" Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Virginia Republican, said on the House floor.
That's partly due to Democratic glee at the snafus, especially since one of the favorite Republican talking points is that Democratic bills are too long to read. "I know Republicans read bills. My, my, my how carefully the Republicans read bills," quipped Democrat Steny Hoyer. It was that bit of amusement that nearly created a stalemate yesterday when Democrats initially refused to go through the procedural process for fixing the Republicans' first typo, Politico's Tarini Parti reported.
Of course, the Democrats' decision to highlight the typo, in lieu of holding a quick unanimous vote to fix the bill, provided Republicans an opportunity to blame them for being the time-wasters. “The fact that the Democrats are making a crusade out of a typo shows their lack of commitment to serious debate about how to get this country back on track,” said Erica Elliot, spokeswoman for Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Of course, that was coming from the same party that wasted $50 million of taxpayer money and who-knows-how-many-hours repealing health care reform 32 times. And you could say that the Republican regulator bill, which was expected to easily pass the House and then go die in the Senate, is hard to defend as productive legislation. But hey! Just another day in Washington.