Freshman lawmaker Chaffetz is tired of games

Recognition bills ‘frivolous’

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Mr. Chaffetz acknowledged backing sports resolutions before realizing that they were a waste of time. As a new lawmaker, he said, “I made some mistakes.”

Mr. Chaffetz and Mr. Altmire agreed that the House should look for a better way to pay tribute to lawmakers’ hometown sports heroes, such as having a big bill at the end of the year for all the sports resolutions.

The Senate also passes hundreds of minor resolutions every year, but almost always without debate or roll-call votes.

The House procedure known as the “suspension calendar,” which is now used to quickly debate and approve matters such as post office namings, dates back to at least 1822. House historian Fred Beuttler noted that in 1978 the House honored Bob Hope on his 75th birthday with both a resolution and a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

But Mr. Beuttler said he was surprised to find that it has been only about a dozen years since congratulatory resolutions, which in the past concentrated on praising foreign countries, took to praising athletes.

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