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Democrat leader refuses to correct law-altering typo in GOP bill

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Look up "juvenile" in the dictionary and you will find a portrait of Rep. Steny Hoyer. I'm sure of it.

Republicans hoping to use unanimous consent to fix a typo in their regulatory freeze bill will hit a brick wall in the form of Rep. Steny Hoyer.

"I'm not going to give unanimous consent," Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said Wednesday during a breakfast in Washington sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

"You know, I'm astounded by this — absolutely dumbfounded," Hoyer quipped, "because I know the Republicans read the bills."

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), the GOP proposal is intended to prevent federal agencies from adopting significant new regulations before the nation's unemployment rate drops to 6 percent or below. The current rate is 8.2 percent.

But the bill was mistakenly written to say the new regulations can be adopted only after the employment rate is 6 percent or lower — meaning the nation's jobless rate would have to hit 94 percent before agencies could issue new rules.

The House is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday, and GOP leaders hope to fix the error with Democrats' support before then.

"All we've got is a minor clerical error in the committee print and it is our desire to fix it by unanimous consent," said Doug Andres, a GOP staffer on the House Rules Committee. "We hope the Democrats will cooperate."

But Hoyer said that’s not happening.

"I don't think we're going to give unanimous consent," Hoyer said.

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

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