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Jim McGovern is overhauling the House rules. Here’s what you need to know about the changes.

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BOSTON, January 4, 2019 | comments
The saying may be that democracy dies in darkness. But Rep. Jim McGovern has joked that over the past few years it’s actually the House Rules Committee “where democracy goes to die.”

As the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee under Republican leadership, McGovern frequently protested the majority party’s historic lack of openness in the legislative process.

“They presided over the most closed Congress in history,” the Massachusetts congressman told Boston.com in an interview. “I don’t want that to be my legacy.”

With Democrats now in control of the House, McGovern has ascended to Rules Committee chair and spearheaded what he says is an “unprecedented” package to reform the way bills are debated and modernize Congress. In a vote Thursday night, most — but not all — Democrats and even a couple of Republicans voted to adopt the new rules.

While frustrated by the intra-party defectors, McGovern says he’s “really proud” of the final rules package, which is one thing House Democrats actually have the power to enact without the approval of the Senate or President Donald Trump.

“Look, we have divided government,” said the Worcester Democrat. “And so there are limits to what a Democratic House can ultimately accomplish with a Republican Senate and a Republican president — especially a president as erratic as this one. But the one thing we can do is we can run the place like professionals.”

Read the full story on Boston.com here.
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