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The Hastert Rule: "a majority of the majority" [View All]

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-16-06 09:21 AM
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The Hastert Rule: "a majority of the majority"
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Hastert's team has shut House Democrats out of the governing process, refusing to allow their bills on the floor, limiting debate, calling midnight votes on complex bills that few have read. The Hastert Rule decrees that the House will consider only bills approved by the GOP caucus "a majority of the majority" and the speaker has enforced it with few exceptions.

DeLay spearheaded the K Street Project that made corporate lobbyists and rank-and-file Republicans so dependent on party leaders. And early in Hastert's tenure, DeLay whipped Republicans to defeat a resolution that Hastert supported on the Kosovo war, fueling perceptions that "the Hammer" was the real power. But Hastert and DeLay agreed about almost everything else. And Hastert's influence gradually increased, especially as DeLay became distracted by scandal.

For example, Hastert encouraged an effort to oust Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., as a committee chairman after Smith bucked party leaders on veterans benefits. He angrily chewed out then-Sen. Robert Smith, R-N.H., for holding up a bill full of pork-barrel projects for vulnerable House members before the 2000 election. He held open a 3 a.m. vote in 2003 on the prescription-drug bill for three hours until he could round up a majority, and persuaded Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., to switch his vote to pass the Central American trade bill.

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