This Sneaky Rule is Blocking a Vote to End the Shutdown


Have you been wondering why the House of Representatives hasn't taken up a vote on the Senate-passed clean resolution to re-open and fund the federal government?

So has Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). In fact, when Van Hollen tried to bring the Senate bill to a vote in the House, he was told he couldn't. So he did some inquiring. And as it turns out, on Oct. 1, the House passed H.R. 368, which states that votes on bills that feature disagreement between the House and the Senate may only be brought to the floor by the majority leader – Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – or his designee. This means even if there is enough support to pass a clean resolution in the House, as many believe there is, it doesn't matter. Only Cantor can bring a Senate-passed bill to a vote, and that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

And thus, the government remains shut down, the U.S. approaches default, and only Cantor or his designee can bring legislation to the floor of the House that might change either of those things. Congress has reached the point where if they don't like the rules, they change them, and hope no one notices.

Watch Van Hollen's exchange with Speaker Pro Tempore Jason Chaffetz in full: