House Dems to hold up GOP anti-regulation bill over typo

The latest congressional battle is over ... typos.

House Democrats have decided to give Republicans a lesson in copy-editing by holding up a vote over a GOP-authored bill by refusing to let them fast-track a typo correction.

The typo in the Republican bill to freeze major new regulations was flagged by Democrats earlier this week. The bill said, erroneously, that agencies should not adopt such regulations until "employment" hits 6 percent.

Republicans meant to write "unemployment." Otherwise, the unemployment rate would have to be a staggering 94 percent for that threshold to apply.

Republicans initially hoped to use a painless procedure known as unanimous consent -- in which the House would agree, without a formal vote -- to correct the typo before heading to an actual vote on the bill. But House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Wednesday he doesn't want to allow that.

"I'm not going to give unanimous consent," he said at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor. The comment was first reported by The Hill, and later confirmed by Hoyer's office.

Republicans, who had hoped to vote on the bill Thursday, may have to send the proposal back to the House Rules Committee for revision.

It's a speed bump for Republicans, but one that ticked off the office of Hoyer's counterpart, House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

"Unemployment in America has been above 8 percent for 41 straight months. The fact that the Democrats are making a crusade out of a typo shows their lack of commitment to serious debate about how to get this country back on track," McCarthy spokeswoman Erica Elliott said in a statement.

Hoyer used the typo to mock Republicans for making a stink about the importance of reading all bills they bring to the floor.

"You know, I'm astounded by this - absolutely dumbfounded, because I know the Republicans read the bills," he said.

He continued: "My, my, my, how carefully they read that bill."