Typo in the Typo Fix Ties Up the House

Photograph by Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Job seekers talk to recruiters at a Choice Career Fair in New York, on July 18, 2012.

One wrong led to another and two embarrassing fixes on the House floor.

Republicans needed to repair their anti-regulation bill, H.R. 4078, because of a typographical error. Instead of triggering action when the UNEMPLOYMENT rate falls to 6 percent, the bill was written to trigger action when there’s an EMPLOYMENT rate of 6 percent.

To make sure that no one votes on a bill that would do the opposite of what’s intended, the House Rules Committee whipped up a correcting resolution, H.Res. 741. That, in turn, triggered the need for another correction because it referred to H.Res. 783 (which doesn’t exist) instead of H.Res. 738, the original rule governing floor debate of the bill.


Democrats had a little fun with that, suggesting on the floor that maybe Republicans meant to debate H.R. 783, which deals with recognizing a handful of American Indian tribes in Virginia.

The resolution’s floor manager, Republican Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, clearly found none of it funny. She scolded Democrats for not just playing nice and agreeing to fix both mistakes with a simple unanimous consent request — as they did on an earlier resolution, H. Con. Res. 134, condemning the recent shootings in Colorado. At one point, Foxx choked up and looked as though she was fighting back tears.

Foxx withdrew her UC request, and the House repaired the bill the old-fashioned way, with separate votes on repairing each typo.

From Bloomberg Government’s Congress Tracker
Updated 11:40 a.m. with the resolution number that contained the second typo.

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