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  •  House: Hastert rule to be followed or broken? (1+ / 0-)
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    If Boehner enforces the Hastert rule, immigration reform is dead. If he doesn't enforce the Hastert rule, immigration reform will pass.

    The "Hastert rule," named for its creator, former Speaker Denny Hastert (GOP, Speaker 1999-2007) is that the Speaker won't allow a bill to be voted on in the House unless it has the support of a majority of the majority party.

    As of May 14, 2013, of the nine bills and joint resolutions passed by the 113th Congress, four of them were passed without a majority of the Republican caucus in support.[10]

    In December 2012 Boehner told his caucus in a conference call "I’m not interested in passing something with mostly Democrat votes" and that did not have the support of the majority of the Republican caucus. [11][12] Nonetheless, Boehner allowed a vote on January 1, 2013 on the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (also known as the "fiscal cliff bill") with only 85 out of 241 Republicans in favor (a support level of only 35%) and the bill passed with the support of 90% of Democrats (172 out of 191).[13][14] The bill's passage marked the first time in more than ten years that a measure passed a Republican-controlled House when opposed by a majority of House Republicans.[15] In response, former House Speaker Hastert criticized Boehner for not adhering to the "majority of the majority" governing principle by saying, "Maybe you can do it once, maybe you can do it twice, but when you start making deals when you have to get Democrats to pass the legislation, you are not in power anymore."[16][17]

    Two weeks later, on January 15, 2013, Boehner allowed a vote on aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy to take place without the support of a majority of the Republican caucus. [18] The vote passed with 241 votes, but only 49 of the votes were from Republicans or a mere 21% of the majority.[19] Since then some notable Republicans have publicly questioned whether the "majority of the majority" rule is still viable or have proposed jettisoning it altogether.[19][20][21]

    In spite of all the criticism, on February 28, 2013 Boehner brought a third bill for a vote on the floor of the house which did not have support of majority of Republicans. The bill, an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, received the vote of only 38% of the Republicans in the House of Representatives.[22]

    On April 9, 2013, the "rule" was ignored a fourth time, on a bill about federal acquisition of historic sites. The bill was passed with more than two thirds of the House vote but without a majority of the GOP caucus.[23]

    From this June 19:

    Politico reported that [Boehner] promised Republicans in a closed meeting on Tuesday that he would not allow an immigration bill to come to a vote unless a majority of Republicans supported it.

    That is, he would invoke the “Hastert rule,” an informal, often-violated principle named for the former speaker who codified it, in which only the majority of the majority gets to decide what passes, shutting out the Democratic minority completely. Given that a hard-line faction of House Republicans will never accept an immigration bill that includes legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants – a key element of comprehensive reform that hard-core Republicans condemn as unthinkable “amnesty” – that could mean death on arrival for the bipartisan legislation now moving through the Senate.

    Mr. Boehner has suspended the Hastert rule before, in order to pass necessary legislation and to sidestep ridicule for his party. But Politico, citing an anonymous source, quoted Mr. Boehner as saying: “I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that will violate the principles of our majority and divide our conference. One of our principles is border security. I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that the people in this room do not believe secures our borders. It’s not gonna happen.”

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:31:15 AM PDT

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