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Rep. Scalise Reacts to 'Soviet Style' House Rules

Erin Scott/Pool via AP

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) stood up on the House floor on Monday to "strongly object" to the Democrats' new House rules package. Among the provisions are the weakening of the motion to recommit, which allows members to amend a bill before it's voted upon. Now, it can only be used as a “motion to delay consideration” of a bill.

"It is all designed to take away the voice of 48 percent of this House chamber," Rep. Scalise argued.

Less than 20 percent of all amendments in the last two years were Republican amendments, the lawmaker noted. 

"That's not what a democratic institution is about," he said. "It shows that the majority wants to shut down the debate of the other side."

The package also enforces the use of gender-neutral pronouns. One Democrat gave us a preview of what that would sound like when he opened his prayer with "amen and a-woman."

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) joined Scalise in addressing the "absolutely ridiculous" censors on speech.

"It takes away pronouns like he, she, him, her, mother, father, so on and so forth," she said in a Twitter video. "Absolutely ridiculous. What is wrong with saying he or she? There are two sexes, you know!"

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was just re-elected as leader on Sunday, accused the Democrats of upending tradition to fit their political motivations.

"These changes will stop Americans’ voices from being heard -- primarily by revoking the motion to recommit, the minority’s longtime right to offer the last amendment to legislation," McCarthy said in his speech on Monday. "To again quote Ben Franklin, free speech is a necessary tool for exposing and keeping in check 'narrow thoughts and narrow men.' That is what the motion to recommit is all about. For our constituents, taking it away means freedom of speech is silenced and good ideas are stifled. While House Democrats have slowly chipped away at this right in the past -- today’s vote truly represents a nuclear option. It will prove, once and for all, who is truly an 'institutionalist' in this body."

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