It is absolutely astonishing! In a recent House session, persistent questioning from a House Democrat forced Republicans to admit that they changed the rules of the House with the sole goal of keeping the government shut!
In the video below, Maryland Democrat Christopher Van Hollen stepped to the House floor and asked about a Standing Rule governing the House – Rule 22, Clause 4. That rule states:
When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.
That rule simply meant that any member of the House can offer a motion to dispose an amendment – in this case, the disagreement over the continuing resolution which cause Republicans to shut down the government. Using that House Rule, Mr. Van Hollen than asked that the House take up the Senate legislation on the budget and continuing resolution and “open the government now!”
The Teaparty Representative, Rep. Jason Chaffetz notified Mr. Van Hollen that under “Section 2 of House Rule 368,” only the Speaker of the House or his designee may offer such a motion to dispose.
Jason Chaffetz later admitted that Rule 22 Clause 4 was “the standing Rule of the House,” but that the House will not follow that rule because “the House has altered that operation of that standing rule.”
Further questioning by Mr. Van Hollen confirmed that on October 1st, right around the time the Republicans shut down the government, Rule 368 went into effect.
Rule 368 states;
Any motion pursuant to Clause 4 of Rule 22 relating to the House joint resolution may be offered only by the Majority Leader or his designee.
In other words, on October 1st, exactly when Republicans shut down the government, they also changed the rules in the House with a new rule that would only allow the Republican Leader or his designee the exclusive right to offer any motion, as stated in Clause 4.