The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown


Talking Points Memo has the article The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown.

Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown.

But previously, House Republicans had made a small but hugely consequential move to block them from doing it.

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.

In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it.

But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.”

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.


Now I see how this shutdown is all President Obama’s fault – NOT.


2013/10/12 I received a challenge to the veracity of this story in a comment on a friends’s Facebook page.

Chuck PriceRoger, I based my information off the actual House proceedings website, which details all activities of the House, including all votes, with yea and nay counts by party. Simple research from the source, not from slanted coverage by the media. I’m sure you can do the same if you choose and educate yourself. And to both you and Steve, any opinions based on Talking Points Memo is immediately suspect. That is as biased to the left as Fox is biased to the right.

My first response was:

Are you referring to the 11:36:44 P.M. item in the list of Legislative Activities for the House of Representatives for September 30, 2013 – Mr. Sessions filed a report from the Committee on Rules on H. Res. 368?

H.RES.368
Latest Title: Relating to consideration of the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 59) making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.

If so, do you know what was in that report?

My second response was:

How do you interpret the words in the report from the rules committee?

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R…

Section 2 of the resolution provides that any motion pursuant to
clause 4 of rule XXII relating to H.J. Res. 59 may be offered only
by the Majority Leader or his designee

thomas.loc.gov

–RELATING TO CONSIDERATION OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION (H.J. RES. 59) MAKING CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2014, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

 

 

 

 


I recognize that the words quoted above from the report are subject to interpretation and that further research can be carried out. I am no professional investigative journalist who gets paid for dogged research. If you have some evidence that this needs further research, then “speak now or forever hold your peace”.


2013/10/13

I did look at Rules of the House of Representatives, issued January 3, 2013. I was trying to find an explicit statement that corroborated the part of the Talking Point Memo story that said:

Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House. At that point, Democrats say, they could have joined with moderate Republicans in approving the motion and then in passing the clean Senate bill, averting a shutdown.


As I looked back to find the above quote, I also stumbled on the quote

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.


Perhaps, armed with these words, I will be able to find the evidence.


2013/10/13

Yes armed with the exact words, I found on page 36 of The Rules of the House of Representatives

4. When the stage of disagreement
has been reached on a bill or resolution
with House or Senate amendments, a
motion to dispose of any amendment
shall be privileged.

This is part of Rule XXII. You can read the verbiage around the words yourself, and then you can interpret them to mean something that supports your point of view, no matter what that point of view is.

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