Cynical Hill: House Lets Majority Vote for Property Rights Bill Without Actually Passing It

Rep. Steve Chabot’s Property Rights protection bill would give citizens greater access to federal courts in situations where states are abusing eminent domain powers to seize private property. It’s badly needed protection in the wake of last year’s disastrous Kelo decision.

However, today the House considered the bill under "suspension of the rules," which requires a 2/3 vote to pass legislation, and the bill gathered only a 234-174 majority. Suspension is typically used to expedite unimportant legislation and isn’t the process to advance serious or contested legislation like Rep. Chabot’s bill.

Either the GOP leadership miscalculated the opposition to the bill, or they cynically maneuvered it give GOP Members a pro-property rights vote without having to move the bill forward. So, if you’re keeping score, this month Congress gave the liberals an up-and-down vote on restricting horse slaughter, but when it came to protecting property rights, they put the Constitution’s tattered protections out to pasture….even though the bill had majority support.  Let’s hope Rep. Chabot gets another shot at the House floor before Congress leaves for good.