Washington (CNN) - The college football bowl season is weeks away from crowning a new national champion, but there will be no congratulatory votes for the winner on the House floor. That's because Republicans are planning to ban most official Congressional commemorations when they take over the chamber in January.
Under new House rules being circulated by the GOP transition team, House Republicans would prohibit resolutions on the floor that congratulate sports teams, recognize anniversaries or birthdays, according to Brendan Buck, spokesman for the transition team. The rule would be part of a series of reforms to House rules in the new session of Congress.
Currently members of both parties offer these resolutions throughout the week for votes on the House floor. These non-binding measures often congratulate the hometown football team that wins the Super Bowl, celebrate the anniversary of a local National Guard unit, or recognize a milestone that is designed to get members of Congress headlines back in their home districts.
This week the House is voting on several such resolutions, including one to honor golf legend "Chi Chi" Rodriguez for his commitment to Latino youth programs, one to support American Diabetes Month, and one supporting a Special Day of Recognition for Parents of Special Needs Children. These bills get abbreviated debate time and cannot be amended, but are usually approved by an overwhelming majority of the House.
In a September speech promising congressional reforms under GOP rule, House Republican Leader John Boehner criticized Congress for wasting too much time on these bills. "With all the challenges facing our nation, it is absurd that Congress spends so much time on naming post offices, congratulating sports teams, and celebrating the birthdays of historical figures," Boehner said.
The new rule proposed by the transition team would prohibit any bill that "expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of an entity, event, group, individual, institution, team or government program; or acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes." It would still allow members of Congress to propose legislation naming post offices in their districts.
"As we are prepared to spend more floor time on open rules and scrutiny over spending bills, and committee time on oversight, we want to do away with these," Buck told CNN.
But Buck noted that the new rule would still allow members to vote on resolutions that offer condolences or non-binding policy resolutions, such as one that condemns an action by a foreign country.