House

Speaker Ryan chastises lawmakers for late votes

For former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), it was lawmakers’ sloppy outfits. For Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it’s tardiness.

In a display reminiscent of his predecessor, Ryan on Thursday paused a lengthy vote series on regulatory reform bills to lecture House members on the chamber’s rules and decorum.

Ryan reminded lawmakers that House rules establish a 15-minute minimum for the first vote in a series and five or two minutes for other votes when they are already near the chamber. Typically, though, first votes in a series take close to 30 minutes for more than 400 lawmakers to break from meetings and walk over to the House floor from their offices across the street. 

{mosads}”Members should be reminded, members should attempt to come to the floor within the 15-minute period as prescribed by the first ring of the bells. All sides of the aisle,” Ryan said.

“As a point of courtesy to each of your colleagues, voting within the allotted time would help with the maintenance of the institution. The chair appreciates the members’ attention to this matter,” he said with a smile.

Ryan’s reminder was met good-naturedly; lawmakers subsequently cheered rowdily.

The Speaker’s reminder bore resemblance to Boehner’s frequent lectures about House rules, particularly the dress code.

Many lawmakers are spotted wearing jeans to the House floor during the first votes of the week shortly after they arrive from their airport. Some members — such as Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) — have even been seen arriving in gym clothes to vote.

“Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearances on the floor may be. You know who you are,” Boehner said during one such reminder last year.

Boehner’s lectures do not appear to have solved the problem of tardiness a year later, either.

“Members should attempt to come to the floor within 15 minutes as prescribed by the first ringing of the bells. This has been an ongoing problem and members should make every attempt to be here within the prescribed 15 minutes,” Boehner said at the time. 

Tags Boehner John Boehner Paul Ryan Sean Duffy
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