ALL OF THIS BECAUSE OF LESS THAN 10% OF THE HOUSE

ALL OF THIS BECAUSE OF LESS THAN 10% OF THE HOUSE

Matt HealeyFriday,4 October 2013

The Snap:

Today is day 4 of the government shutdown. What started on Tuesday is still going on and shows no sign of ending. I expected this, as my prediction is this will go on until October 17th when the debt ceiling needs to be raised. At that time I suspect Boehner will bring a bill to the floor that raises the debt ceiling and passes a clean Continuing Resolution (CR). The bill would violate the “Hastert Rule” and would cost Boehner his speakership.

The Download:

Right now the only thing that is preventing the government from opening is the Hastert rule. If you are unfamiliar with this rule, it is named after former congressmen Denny Hastert. The rule is an informal rule that states that a majority of the majority must support a bill before it can be brought to the floor of the House. It is used by the evangelical christian party of god as a reason they will not bring bills to the floor to be voted on. In this case, Boehner is using this to prevent a clean CR from being voted on. So, the entire government is shutdown because Boehner will not offend a minority of the evangelical christian party of god members. By most counts, this is 20-40 members of the house — 20-40 out of 435. Less than 10% of the House. Granted, there are a lot of others who are content to stay silent so that the Tea Party will not launch primary battle in their district.

This will drag on for a few more weeks because the stakes are not that great unless you work for the government, rely on government services like Women, Infants and Children (WIC), or are part of an ancillary business, like the hotel outside a national park like Yosemite. But as the debt ceiling begins to come into focus, the stakes are going to rise dramatically. At that point, Boehner will swallow hard and violate the Hastert Rule and bring a vote to the floor. It will pass. It would pass now if it were brought to the floor. The Tea Party will be incensed and will retaliate and Boehner will lose the speakers gavel.


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