House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) conceded Thursday during his weekly press conference that sometimes an open amendments process means that legislation goes down in smoke.
“When I became speaker, one of the commitments I made to our members and to the American people was to open up this process,” Ryan said. “It means fewer predetermined outcomes.”
That is exactly what happened after an LGBT protection amendment was added to the House’s energy and water appropriations bill and the legislation failed to pass Thursday.
Ryan blamed Democrats for hijacking the open appropriations process citing the fact that many of the same Democrats who voted to add the LGBT protection amendment ultimately voted against the underlying appropriations bill (which also included other poison pill amendments Democrats were opposed to.)
“The Democrats were not looking to advance an issue,” Ryan argued. “They were looking to sabotage the appropriations process. … They are trying to stop the appropriations process in its tracks.”
The floor meltdown Thursday spells trouble for Ryan’s ability to make good on his promise of regular order for the rest of the year. Ryan pledged Thursday he still planned to move forward with the appropriations process this year, but he will huddle with his GOP conference after the recess to iron out a plan on how to best move forward.
“We want to pass individual bills,” Ryan said. “When we come back, we will sit down with our members and have a family discussion about how best to proceeds so that the appropriations process cannot be sabotaged and derailed.”