Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:58 PM
n2doc (31,442 posts)
The "Hastert Rule" -Why Boehner won't bring the Senate Plan to a floor vote
The majority of the majority is a governing principle (not a legal procedure) used by Republican Speakers of the House of Representatives since the mid-1990's to effectively limit the power of the minority party to bring bills up for a vote on the floor of the house. Under the majority of the majority doctrine the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives will not allow a vote on a bill to take place unless the majority of the majority party supports the bill. This is sometimes referred to as the “Hastert Rule”, as its introduction is widely credited to former Speaker Dennis Hastert (1999-2007); however, Newt Gingrich, who directly preceded Hastert as Speaker (1995-1999), followed the same rule. Hastert was vocal in his support of the rule stating that his job was "to please the majority of the majority."
In practical terms this keeps the minority party from passing bills with the assistance of a small number of members of the majority party. It takes 218 votes to pass a bill. Even when there are 218 votes to pass a bill, the rule prevents votes from taking place when those 218 votes do not include the majority of the majority party. If the Democrats are the minority party and the Republicans are the majority party, under the majority of the majority rule it would not be possible for 170 Democrats and 50 Republicans together to pass a bill, because 50 Republicans votes is far short of a majority of the majority party, so the Speaker would not allow a vote to take place. As an example, if the Republican Party is the majority party and has 234 seats in Congress, it would take 118 (117+1) Republican votes in support of legislation before a vote could take place. With less than 118 Republican votes the legislation would be blocked, even if 218 or more votes could be found between the two parties.
A discharge petition signed by 218 members (or more) from any party is the only way to force consideration of a bill or resolution that does not have support of a majority of the majority. However, discharge petitions are rarely successful, as a member of the majority party defying their party's leadership by signing a discharge petition can expect retribution from the leadership.
The RW blogs are already yelling at Boehner about this.
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The "Hastert Rule" -Why Boehner won't bring the Senate Plan to a floor vote (Original post)
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Response to n2doc (Original post)
Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:02 PM
PoliticAverse (8,805 posts)
1. It's an informal rule, which Boehner is free to ignore...
and the latest seems to be that Boehner will bring the Senate bill to the floor unless 218 members support amending it
in which case there will be an amended version brought to the floor.