By Russell Berman - 05/05/11 04:20 PM EDT
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left the door open to the House passing a resolution honoring the military mission that killed Osama bin Laden, saying leaders have discussed the possibility but have not made a decision.
The Senate unanimously approved a measure congratulating the Navy SEALs and President Obama for the successful mission, but House Republicans have thus far stuck to their rules banning commemorative resolutions.
“There has been a conversation, but no decision yet,” the Speaker said at his weekly press conference.
Earlier, he explained the rule the GOP instituted in January prohibiting the kind of symbolic and congratulatory resolutions that some lawmakers had complained about in the past.
“We’re pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work on the floor of the House,” Boehner said. “And all of the commemorative resolutions that used to be brought to the floor of the House, some of them I thought were quite meaningless.”
Boehner noted that almost all members had individually recognized the bin Laden mission through press releases, and he repeated his congratulations to both Obama and former President George W. Bush earlier in the briefing.
The GOP decision had drawn criticism from some Democrats, who said an exception to the new rules was more than warranted for the killing of America’s No. 1 enemy.
“I don’t know why we’re not. Certainly we’ve passed a lot of resolutions for a lot less important things,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose district includes Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. “I think we ought to pass a resolution honoring the military and the president. How often do you get unadulterated, unabashed, absolute good news about something really important in this country, or any country?”
Nadler said he was unaware of the rules the GOP passed forbidding such measures.
“If they have, it’s silly,” Nadler told The Hill on Wednesday. “Occasionally we ought to do it. Maybe we did it too often, but I don’t think you could argue that this occasion didn’t warrant it.”
GOP Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) introduced a resolution on Tuesday night honoring the military and the Obama and Bush administrations for their efforts to bring down bin Laden.