The News & Observer: House Republicans reinstituting ‘floaters’ to advance bills
North Carolina Republicans may have lost their supermajorities in the House and Senate, but that won’t stop them from doing everything they can to rig the system for political gain. Now they’re bringing back something called “floaters” — no, not the kind you flush — in order to give the GOP a false advantage in House committees.
- “Floaters,” as they are known, are Republican members who may vote on any committee, even if they are not assigned to that committee. So if Republicans don’t have the votes for a piece of legislation to advance out of committee, the “floaters” come in and push it through.
- These “floaters” make it easier for the GOP majority to squeeze out controversial legislation when they wouldn’t otherwise have the votes. It thwarts the will of rank-and-file committee members and gives the GOP an undemocratic edge.
- The concept of floaters was introduced by Republicans in the 1990s, but was eliminated in the 2000s for good reason.
North Carolina House Republicans are reinstituting a tactic giving them extra votes on committees if needed to push through controversial legislation or make up for GOP absences.
A Friday news release from House Speaker Tim Moore announcing most committee assignments also mentioned four top Republican lieutenants who can now vote on any committee.