AP NEWS

House Republicans reinstituting ‘floaters’ to advance bills

January 25, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House Republicans are reinstituting a tactic giving them extra votes on committees if needed to push through controversial legislation or make up for GOP absences.

A Friday news release from House Speaker Tim Moore announcing most committee assignments also mentioned four top Republican lieutenants who can now vote on any committee.

These all-committee lawmakers are known as “floaters.” Republicans first created them in the mid-1990s but Democrats also used them for several years in the 2000s until they were eliminated.

The procedure’s return reflects a House where the Republican majority narrowed after Democratic electoral gains in November.

Floaters give wiggle room for House leadership to advance its agenda when committees are more evenly divided. Critics of the practice say it thwarts the will of rank-and-file committee members.

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