The Montana Capitol in Helena, Montana. The building was built in 1899, and an addition completed in 1911. Eric Seidle For the Daily Montanan.
Despite promises of unity, House Republicans began drawing internal lines within an hour of the commencement of this year’s legislative session. In the midst of a vote to temporarily adopt 2019 House rules — a set of prescriptions modeled after Senate rules — Rep. Mark Noland, R-Big Fork, made a substitute motion to instead implement 2017 rules, which Republicans and some Democrats revised last session.
The motion, which ultimately failed 42-58, would have restored the unilateral power to make committee assignments to the Speaker. It also would have increased the number of votes required to “blast” a piece of legislation to the floor to a supermajority of 60, rather than however many seats the majority holds — a compromise brought about by the 2019 rules. Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, who served as Majority Leader in the 2019 session, was a staunch critic of the new rules, and spoke in support of Noland’s substitute motion on Monday.
“If we elect people to lead, why do we not let them lead?” he said.
Newly elected House Speaker Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, was among the Republicans to vote against the substitute motion. The House ultimately voted to temporarily adopt the 2019 rules.
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