CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN: This Rule Should Be Defeated



Last night, the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee shut down Rep. Steve King’s ability to offer an amendment to completely defund Obamacare on the continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year. House Republicans are now hiding behind parliamentary rules to say that it would somehow violate what the new Republican Majority is all about.This is just complete and utter nonsense. Obamacare was a mix of what is called discretionary and mandatory spending. King is trying to defund the entire law, but the parliamentarians are arguing that his amendment would be out of order (i.e. against House Rules) because it attempts to mess with programs that are not strictly discretionary. But the thing that people need to understand about the House of Representatives is that every major bill that comes to the floor is governed by a “special rule” that sets the parameters of the debate and the amendment process for that bill. You don’t need a special rule to consider a bill, but House Rules are viewed as so inefficient and cumbersome that each bill needs its own special dispensation. And that is where the Rules Committee comes in and constructs a special rule that in essence waives House Rules. Normally, in a situation like this, the Leadership of either party, if they support what the rank and file member is trying to do, makes the amendment in order.So this idea that the Rules Committee (an arm of Leadership) could not have made the amendment in order because they didn’t want to give “special treatment” to it is nonsense. If that is “regular order” then the Rules Committee should be disbanded completely, and the era of special rules be ended. That would actually be pretty good for America.Furthermore, Leadership put Steve King in this position by not adding the proper language to defund Obamacare in the underlying bill, notwithstanding the fact that these sorts of riders are a matter of routine on appropriations bills. What is not routine is bringing an appropriations bill to the floor of the House without having it be considered in committee where these sorts of amendments could have been more easily included. The plain fact of the matter is that Leadership doesn’t want a major fight to defund Obamacare on the continuing resolution and are hiding behind House Rules to save face. The continuing resolution is a must-pass bill and prime opportunity for the House to try and shut down Obamacare with its historic “power of the purse.” At least force the Democrats to use political capital to get the provision out of the bill in the Senate.Conservatives should vote against the Leadership’s rule today and force the Rules Committee to make the King amendment in order or include the provision in underlying bill before it comes to the floor. Call your Congressmen and urge them to vote no and bring down the rule!



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