Thursday, June 13, 2013

Glenn Beck's Big News

Can you hear the pillars of power collapsing? Can you hear the crowds screaming in the streets?

Beck has unleashed his scoop!

You'll excuse me if I'm underwhelmed by it all.

Apparently the big news that was going to rock the nation and bring down the entire power structure is a "revolt" by 70 house Republicans against Immigration Reform.

The group, led by Representatives Louie Gohmert (Texas), Steve King (Iowa) and Michelle Bachmann (Minnesota), arguably the three most bat-shit crazy Republicans in the House (and that is saying a lot) are petitioning for a special Republican conference meeting on the bill.

According to the three stooges leading the revolt, the group is invoking the Hastert Rule, a political procedure wherein the House Speaker does not bring a bill to the floor for a vote unless a majority of the majority party supports it.

This is another way stalemate and lack of progress are enforced in Washington. The "rule." a political courtesy, prevents a bill from passing supported by the minority party and enough of the majority to get sufficient votes to pass.

The rule is not blindly followed but Democrats tend to make more exceptions than Republicans.

John Boehner, the current Republican speaker has ignored the rule four times this term when he felt that the good of the country took precedence over the bat-shit crazy ideas of the majority of his Republican colleagues.

On January 1, 2013 Boehner allowed a vote on the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" (also known as the "fiscal cliff bill") with only 85 out of 241 Republicans in favor. The bill passed with the support of 90% of Democrats (172 out of 191).

On January 15, 2013, the Speaker allowed a vote on aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy to take place without the support of a majority of Republicans. The bill passed with 241 votes, but only 49 of the Yea votes were from Republicans while 192 Democrats voted for the bill.

On February 28, 2013 Boehner brought the extension of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor for a vote. The bill received the Yea vote of only 87 Republicans while 199 Democrats voted for it.

Finally, on April 9, 2013, the "rule" was ignored a fourth time, on a bill about federal acquisition of historic sites. The bill was passed with more than two thirds of the House vote but without a majority of the Republican representatives.

Like I said, I don't really have a horse in the immigration reform race but I find so-called courtesy rules like the Hastert Rule distasteful.  They prevent things from getting done.

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