Ending Honorific Resolutions

The Los Angeles Times reports that Republicans may eliminate honorific resolutions (e.g. resolutions endorsing National Potato Day and National Pi Day, or honoring the 75th anniversary of Radio Shack’s listing  on the NYSE — all real examples) from Congressional business.  This would be a nice symbolic gesture.  Such resolutions seem trivial, but they cost time and money — and they add up.  But Congress tried this before, and it didn’t stick.  From the LA Times:

When Newt Gingrich became House speaker in 1995 after the Republican landslide, he sought to ban resolutions designating special days, weeks and months — like National Asparagus Month, Wine Appreciation Week and National Fragrance Week.

The results were striking. Commemorations plummeted from a high of 41% of all bills passed in the mid-1980s to 12% in 1995-96.

But this being Washington, lawmakers found a way around the new rules. Because the ban restricted only commemorations designating a specific time period, lawmakers soon started bestowing less temporal honors — as in “supporting the goals and ideals of American Craft Beer Week.”

Now members of both parties indulge in the practice, introducing hundreds of celebratory resolutions every session. It’s the kind of Washington addiction that the opposition wave against politics-as-usual has set its sights on.

[Hat Tip: Instapundit]