On January 23rd at 9AM, the House Rules Committee will have on its agenda House Resolution 3506.
This Resolution would give the Speaker of the House absolute authority to unilaterally “initiate or intervene in any action on behalf of the House as an institution or in his official capacity…”.
The motivation for this Resolution would seem to be the recent Public Service Commission hearing on SCE&G’s failed nuclear construction project and Dominion Energy’s proposal to purchase SCE&G.
The speaker intervened in this process, on behalf of the House, and advocated for Dominion’s proposal.
You can read my November 28th op.ed that lays out the inherent problems with a powerful state legislator intervening in a quasi-judicial process. This is especially troublesome in that the speaker has great influence on who sits on the Public Service Commission.
Adoption of HR 3506 would not only give the stamp of approval to the speaker’s recent actions but it would also give a dangerous green light to any future speaker to act unilaterally in the name “of the House of Representatives, a House committee, a member of the House, or a House officer or other employee” without any required approval by the House.
Contact the members of the House Rules Committee ASAP. Click on the name and it will take you to their information page. From there you can get the State House office telephone number and send an email.
Ask that they not approve HR 3506 which gives the speaker unilateral authority to take legal actions in the name of the House without consent.
House Rules Committee
Wheeler, William W. “Will”, III