NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Looking Back On How Republicans Changed House Rules During Shutdown


    Former House Parliamentarian on how both parties change the rules when in the majority at the expense of real debate. -   November 13, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    No sports, no celebrities, no paid stories, no agendas. Pure integrity. - Steve Dustcircle
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Jessica Desvarieux is a multimedia journalist who serves as the Capitol Hill correspondent for the Real News Network. Most recently, Jessica worked as a producer for the ABC Sunday morning program, This Week with Christianne Amanpour. Before moving to Washington DC, Jessica served as the Haiti corespondent for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Previously, she was as an on-air reporter for New York tri-state cable outlet Regional News Network, where she worked before the 2010 earthquake struck her native country of Haiti. From March 2008 - September 2009, she lived in Egypt, where her work appeared in various media outlets like the Associated Press, Voice of America, and the International Herald Tribune - Daily News Egypt. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a Master of Science degree in journalism. She is proficient in French, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and has a working knowledge of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Follow her @Jessica_Reports.

    Transcript

    Looking Back On How Republicans Changed House Rules During ShutdownJESSICA DESVARIEUX, CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT, TRNN: The government shutdown may seem like yesterday's news on Capitol Hill.

    ~~~

    JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sixty-eight percent say it would be a bad thing to shut the government down for a few days.

    JONATHAN KARL, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: They now--George, the Republicans own this shutdown.

    MEGYN KELLY, HOST, FOX NEWS: --in the blame game over the government shutdown with no end in sight.

    ~~~

    DESVARIEUX: But despite all this media attention given to the shutdown, what's seldom reported is a simple rule change that forced Congress to press pause.

    But let's hit rewind and find out how this all happened.

    It was close to midnight on September 30. The 9-to-4 Republicans to Democrats House Rules Committee passed a resolution. Within it was a rules change to the standing procedural rule House Rule XXII, Clause 4. It reads:

    "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."

    In plain English, that basically means that under normal procedure, any member could have called up the Senate budget bill for a vote. But during the government shutdown, they weren't able to because of the rule change.

    But with the rule change, the only member who had that privilege was majority leader Eric Cantor or his designee.

    ~~~

    REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER (D-NY): Under regular order of the House, any member can call for a vote on the Senate proposal. But you've changed that regular order under this this resolution that only the majority leader can do it. Can you tell us why you did that?

    REP. PETE SESSIONS (R-TX): In fact, that is correct. What we're attempting to do is to actually get our people together rather than trying to make a decision. We're trying to actually have a conference. And the gentlewoman knows that there are rules related to privileged motions that could take place almost effective immediately, and we're trying to go to conference. So we think this was the quickest way to get that done.

    SLAUGHTER: Well, I understand you are, but that doesn't tell me why you changed the regular order so that [crosstalk] to do that under the rule.

    SESSIONS: Well, in fact, you're correct again. And the reason why is because we're attempting to get the four groups of people together--Senate Republicans and Democrats, House Republicans and Democrats. And under those rules that you know that you were in reference to, there could be a motion as early tonight, and it could be--a conference would be avoided.

    ~~~

    DESVARIEUX: This didn't sit well with House Democrats. And in this video of Maryland Democratic representative Chris Van Hollen, we see him challenging the rule change. The video's gone viral since then, with more than 3.4 million views.

    ~~~

    REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): The Rules Committee, under the rules of the House, changed the standing rules of the House to take away the right of any member to move to vote to open the government and gave that write exclusively to the Republican leader. Is that right?

    REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R-UT): --House adopted that resolution. The chair – the chair – the chair is now prepared to entertain one minute.

    VAN HOLLEN: I make my motion, Mr. Speaker. I renew my motion that under the regular standing rules of the House, Clause 4, Rule XXII, that the house take up the Senate amendments and open the government now.

    CHAFFETZ: Under Section 2 of House Resolution 368, that motion may be offered only by the majority leader or his designate.

    VAN HOLLEN: Mr. Speaker, why are the rules rigged to keep the government shut down?

    CHAFFETZ: The gentleman will suspend. The gentleman will suspend.

    VAN HOLLEN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think--.

    CHAFFETZ: The House--the chair will now entertain--

    VAN HOLLEN: --democracy has been suspended, Mr. Speaker.

    VAN HOLLEN: The gentlemen will suspend.

    ~~~

    DESVARIEUX: The Real News spoke with Democratic congressman Alan Grayson of Florida, who also strongly opposed the shutdown.

    REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D-FL): --because they knew that if anyone actually picked up one of these Senate bills that had been passed, they would have passed.

    In the case of a speech that I gave on the floor, there is a longstanding rule that goes back literally decades, if not centuries, possibly all the way back to Thomas Jefferson's time, where if one says that the dignity of the House has been impugned, then one can call for a vote on that issue. I pointed out that the dignity of the House had been impugned by the shutdown. I gave very specific information about that, including the cover of The Daily News, the fourth largest newspaper in the country, with a picture of John Boehner sitting in President Lincoln's chair at the Lincoln Memorial with the caption "House of Turds". And I called for a vote. And I meant that to be a test vote to see whether people wanted to have the shutdown continue or not. The Republicans violated the rules by preventing that vote.

    DESVARIEUX: The simple rule change in the House had some very real consequences. After 16 days of being closed, the government lost $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor's. This sounds like a very high price for Republicans to pay in political esteem, so we consulted an expert to get some background. We asked: was this kind of rule change unprecedented?

    CHARLES JOHNSON, FMR. HOUSE PARLIAMENTARIAN: They say it wasn't unprecedented. And it was a speaker's staff, I guess, got word to the Rules Committee that they felt they needed that protection because of the uncertainties which later developed on that particular bill.

    DESVARIEUX: That's Charles Johnson. He was the House Parliamentarian for 40 years and now works as a consultant for the House. According to Johnson, the House rules committee did adopt the same rule change under the speakership of Newt Gingrich in 1995. This took place during the 104th Congress, which currently holds the record low for passing the fewest bills since 1947.

    But in last half-century, Johnson said that Democrats have not changed that particular rule. But they have changed rules to be in their favor when they're in the majority.

    A memo sent by Republicans lists several incidences when Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was speaker. They cite issues like the lockdown of debate on the House floor during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

    Johnson said that what's at the heart of these rule changes is control.

    JOHNSON: To prevent the uncertainty of other motions coming to the floor, number one, and also to guarantee some predictability in time on when these votes are going to take place and what they're going to be on. The notion of unpredictable motions, which would otherwise be permitted under the standing rule, has given way in recent congresses to the desire by both party majorities for control.

    DESVARIEUX: Congressman Grayson admitted that Democrats have made rule changes. But when Republicans get into power, he said that they make it even harder for the minorities to have a say.

    GRAYSON: Before the shutdown began, they changed the 72 hour rule. And they were very whiny about this when the Democrats were in charge. And so when they got into power, they said this is the new rule. What they've interpreted it to mean is that if they introduce a bill at 11:59 on a Thursday, then we have to vote for it by 12:01 a.m. on a Saturday. I mean, they've gutted the ruled by making the 72 hour rule the one day plus two seconds rule and then completely suspended it during the whole debate over the shutdown.

    JOHNSON: The notion of democracy of every citizen having an equal sense of participation, equal ability to participate through their representatives was impacted. But that happens all the time here in the House.

    DESVARIEUX: A grim assessment for what is commonly known as the People's House.

    For The Real News Network, Jessica Desvarieux, Washington.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting