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Friday, April 21, 2006

House update

Today was a rather strange House floor session. It was supposed to be short, only for moving paper around. As a result, several members didn't even bother showing up. However, when the chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Republican Jim Knoblach, called for a re-referral of a bill to his committee to be turned into an omnibus finance bill, DFL Minority Leader Matt Entenza vehemently objected. This led to Speaker Sviggum leaving the speaker's chair to come down to the floor to talk, a very rare occurrence.

As reader billiam pointed out in an e-mail, the House Republicans had a very long caucus yesterday, several hours in fact. Nerves must have been rubbed rather raw, because Sviggum sounded quite upset today. He was talking about compromise being a "two-way street", talking about how the minority is "obstructing" the process (as if they have the power to do so), and in general sounding like somebody who is losing control of his caucus. The back and forth continued for a while until Knoblach relented.

It would appear, then, that even though on the surface everybody is quite optimistic about getting done early, there is still a lot of stuff that needs to be worked out, and there is probably dissension in the Republican ranks. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the next week or so.

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