New House, new rules

Ali Aslam, assistant professor of politics, appeared on Connecting Point to discuss new leadership and new changes.

In the wake of November’s “Blue Wave” election, the face of Congress has changed. Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern now chairs the powerful House Rules Committee — and the new rules he has put forth have the power to shift not only the way in which Congress conducts the business of lawmaking, but the way in which the people are represented.

Assistant Professor of Politics Ali Aslam recently weighed in on the topic on WGBY’s Connecting Point, joined by Smith College’s Donald Baumer.

“The new constituency in this entering class looks radically different from Congresses in the past,” said Aslam.  

Key new rules require bills to be debated individually rather than in omnibus packages, change the way taxes and tax cuts are evaluated, mandate ethics training and explicitly allow members to wear religious headdresses.

All of these are all part of an effort, Aslam said, to dismantle what he called the “boys’ club.”

These new rules, Aslam said, represent an effort by the newly elected members “to broaden up and make it the people’s House.”

Watch the segment.