If Leaders Ignore 'Hastert Rule'
Conservative House lawmakers are threatening to torpedo bills that violate the so-called "Hastert Rule."
The warning, delivered Monday by two right-leaning rank-and-file members, puts more pressure on Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and his lieutenants to only pass bills that attract the support of "the majority of the majority."
The Hastert Rule, named for former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert, means that the Speaker will not bring a bill to the floor for a vote unless it has the support of a majority of the majority.
GOP Arizona Reps. Matt Salmon and David Schweikert implored fellow Republicans to vote no on party-backed procedural measures when leadership intends to pass bills that are opposed by most GOP legislators.
In an op-ed in Monday's The Washington Times, Salmon wrote, "From this point forward, I will vote against the rule for bills that increase spending without offsetting spending cuts...if House leadership brings any more bills to the floor without first securing the support from the majority of the GOP conference, I will take the same action."
He added that "if enough of my conservative colleagues in the House join me, we can unilaterally put an end to the growth of government that is moving us closer to Greece-like fiscal calamities."
Later in the day, Schweikert, one of four lawmakers ousted from plum committee assignments after the 2012 election, released a "Dear Colleague" memo making the same argument.
Noting that he has "never voted against a rule" and hopes he never has to, Schweikert stated that the "criteria laid out by Matt Salmon represent a benchmark of how I would make my decisions were I to vote against a rule."
House GOP leaders have already passed three bills this year -- the "fiscal cliff" bill, Hurricane Sandy relief and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization -- that were approved with less than a majority of the Republican Conference.
It is unclear whether Republicans will abide by the Hastert Rule on upcoming votes on guns, immigration and the debt ceiling. Securing a majority of the majority on these thorny issues will be extremely difficult.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 03/11/2013
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