|Democracy suspended early hours of Tue 01. Oct 2013 in US House of Representatives|
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Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans
changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the
Senates clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee
-- all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and
would stay shut down. Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the
CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.
Rule Change By House Republicans That Guaranteed A Federal Shutdown [VIDEO]
By Luke Villapaz
on October 14 2013 10:38 AM
H.R. 368: The Little Rule Change By House GOP That Guaranteed A Shutdown
U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, published a video on YouTube on October 12,
that highlighted H.R. 368, a rule change that essentially guaranteed a government shutdown.
A video published by Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, has revealed that
House Republicans made a small last-minute change to House rules
-- a change blocking a potential option that could have been taken to avoid the federal
government shutdown in its entirety.
The video shows Van Hollen purposefully attempting to invoke clause 4 of rule XXII
of the House of Representatives, which states:
`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.´
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, was quick to point out that H.R. 368 states that
the rule brought up by Van Hollen can only be offered by the House majority leader
or his designee:
`Any motion pursuant to clause 4 of rule XXII relating to House Joint Resolution 59
may be offered only by the Majority Leader or his designee.´
Previously, clause 4 of rule XXII could be brought up by any member of the
House of Representatives to push a bill forward despite disagreements.
Not only did this H.R. 368 change the ability to use clause 4 of rule XXII, but it
specifically applied it to House Joint Resolution 59, the appropriations bill that the
House of Representatives and Senate are currently in a fight over.
By changing the rules on Sept. 30, House Republicans essentially guaranteed a government
shutdown, since the ability to invoke the mentioned rule was transferred entirely to
House Majority leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Talking Points Memo previously reported about this particular rule change back on
Oct. 10, but little attention was paid to the story until the weekend of Oct. 12,
when Van Hollens video was published and posted on social media sites such as Reddit.
Back in Sept. 30, the author of H.R. 368 and House Rules Committee chairman, Congressman
Pete Sessions, R-Texas, was questioned by House Rules Committee ranking member,
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., about the rule change.
`We want a conference,´ Sessions said as part of his explanation of why H.R. 368 was
passed to change the rules.
Slaughter criticized Sessions for the rule change: `I think its really shortsighted.
I think it is an atrocity to the rules of the House and I think youre putting the whole
country through this angst and this aggravation that we did not need to go.
This one we could have done without.´
In the video published by Van Hollen on Oct. 12, Chaffetz attempts to suspend Van Hollens
parliamentary inquiry, to which Van Hollen simply responds, `Democracy has been suspended.´