New House Rules to Eliminate Gendered Terms Like ‘Father, Mother, Son, Daughter’

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by Bethany Blankley

 

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern announced new rules for the 117th Congress, which will be introduced and voted on after the new Congress convenes.

The rules include “sweeping ethics reforms, increases accountability for the American people, and makes this House of Representatives the most inclusive in history” – including eliminating the words, “father, mother, son, and daughter,” from federal code.

The proposed changes reflect “the views and values of the full range of our historically diverse House Democratic Majority,” Pelosi said in a joint statement with McGovern.

McGovern said the new rules were a result of months of consultation “across our caucus and Congress.”

Tucked inside the package is a proposal to use “gender-inclusive language.” The goal is to “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral,” their joint statement reads.

McGovern issued a separate announcement about “Changes [to] pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral or removes references to gender…”

Terms to be struck from clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, the House’s Code of Official Conduct, as outlined in the new proposal include “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandson, [and] granddaughter.”

The terms would be replaced with “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, [and] grandchild.”

The proposal also establishes a Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth “to prioritize our commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind in the 21st Century economy.”

Proposed reforms also include changing the process by which bills go to the floor, and making House documents more electronically storable and available.

They would also remove floor privileges for former members convicted of crimes related to their House service or election; make it a violation of the Code of Official Conduct for a member, officer, or employee of the House to disclose the identity of a whistleblower; make it a violation of the Code of Official Conduct for a member, delegate, resident commissioner, officer or employee of the House “to disseminate manipulated media, including photos and videos, known as ‘deepfakes,’” among other measures.

A section-by-section summary of the rules package is available online.

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Bethany Blankley  is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Speaker Nancy Pelosi Signs Off” by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

 

 

 

 

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