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December 21, 2009


The Conference Committee

A timely note on the Conference Committee from Oleszek's superb Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process:

"No formal rules, such as quorum or proxy voting requirements, govern internal conference committee bargaining. The only stipulation is that the conferences must meet formally at least once in open session. The lack of rules is deliberate to foster an informal give-and-take environment conducive to reaching bicameral compromises, especially when the chambers have passed starkly different measures. As a Ways and Means chairman said of trying to meld major bicameral differences on a health bill, 'It's akin to mating a Chihuahua with a Great Dane.'"












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