The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Three days into the shutdown that has paralyzed the federal government, it’s become apparent that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) could end the standoff at any moment he chooses. The Huffington Post reports that as of Wednesday afternoon,  20 House Republicans are willing to pass a “clean” continuing resolution that would fund the government at sequester levels, without any Obamacare-related demands attached. This is three more than the 17 Republicans who would need to join Democrats to pass the Senate’s budget bill.

Republican representative Jon Runyan of New Jersey expressed what others like him are now feeling: “Enough is enough. Put a clean [continuing resolution] on the floor and let’s get on with the business we were sent to do.”

Despite now having the votes, however, Speaker Boehner has refused to bring a bill to the floor, citing the so-called “Hastert Rule.”

Under the Hastert Rule, a House Speaker should not allow a vote on any legislation that is not supported by a majority of the majority party, which is the Speaker’s caucus.

The rule is named after former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who said that relying on the other party for the majority of votes was “something I would not generally do,” during a 2006 press conference.

Boehner has waived the rule in the past, but most recently he has used it to justify not bringing a new bill to the floor. He might have to reconsider his stance, though, because Hastert is now saying that the “Hastert Rule is kind of a misnomer,” and nothing more.

On Wednesday, Hastert explained to The Daily Beast that when he made the 2006 comments, he was “speaking philosophically” and that it “wasn’t a rule.”

The former Speaker then explained that “the real Hastert Rule is 218,” referring to the number of votes needed in the House for a bill to pass. He then continued: “if we had to work with Democrats, we did.”

Although Hastert did not say whether or not Boehner should waive the Hastert Rule and admitted that he and the current Speaker do not talk, he did offer some insight that Boehner might find handy: “We had to find a way to compromise and get things done. I wasn’t a show horse; I wasn’t on TV programs.”

“You can’t be in Congress and shut down the government and get anything done. It’s an oxymoron,” Hastert added.

Photo: ASIS International via Flickr.com

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}