A Rolling Coup

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 13 2013 @ 9:20pm

How else do you explain this amendment to the following rule passed by the House just before it shut down the government:

Here’s the rule in question:

  • 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 other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it. But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.” So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

So, in advance, the GOP changed parliamentary procedure to ensure that no clean resolution, based on a Senate budget agreement, could get on the floor of the House for a general vote. The hostage-takers made it impossible to defuse the bomb they have attached to our system of government without their consent – even against a majority of House members of both parties.

These people are deadly serious. Since they lost an election, they decided to start a cold civil war.