Partisanship and Divisiveness

I heard a news person the other day refer to a bill that passed as “one of the few bipartisan bills this session”. I was dumbfounded. It is amazing how little folks know about what actually happens in the NH House. Due to the antics of a few “eccentric” Representatives, you hear about sensational rare occurrences that are not indicative of a typical day at the House. The truth is that many bills are passed on something called the “Consent Calendar”. Bills get on the Consent Calendar when they come out of their committee with no opposition, or none worth mentioning. The minority has to agree that the bill be placed on the Consent Calendar, and they forgo filing a minority report. Most of these bills pass unanimously. The Consent Calendar is presented to the House, where we have yet another opportunity to change our minds and remove bills from it.  After no further objections are noted, we vote once on the entire package of bills. This means that a ton of work gets done, in a bipartisan fashion, every session. While serving on the Labor Committee, I saw many bills pass from us to the Consent Calendar. You don’t hear about this though, because the House running smoothly, fixing governmental problems, and agreeing on issues is not good entertainment. Instead, you are fed a steady diet of the antics of a few nut cases who are not representative of the House as a whole. I have had many good conversations with members of the other party. I have found that most Representatives from all parties are hardworking, respectful, good people. I ask that you not judge 400 of us by the over the top behavior of a small group. Most Representatives of both parties are working hard for their constituents.

About Rep. Steven Smith

Steven Smith is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving his 7th term. Rep. Smith currently represents Charlestown, Newport, and Unity. Rep. Smith is the Deputy Speaker of the NH House.
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