Boehner: There’s no rule that says I need a Republican majority in order to pass bills in the House

posted at 6:51 pm on April 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

This is exactly what you want to hear with bills on gun control and immigration in the pipeline.

Dude, I’m nervous.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) signaled Thursday that he may continue to bypass a House Republican rule [i.e. the “Hastert Rule”] that has required any legislation being voted upon to have the support of a majority of the GOP conference…

He said at a news conference Thursday that he will continue to try and follow it in spirit, but also suggested he might well violate it for upcoming votes on guns, immigration and the budget.

“Listen: It was never a rule to begin with,” Boehner said. “And certainly my prerogative – my intention is to always pass bills with strong Republican support.”

He’s violated the Hastert Rule several times on budgetary matters, most notably the fiscal-cliff deal (and as recently as two days ago), but caving on cultural hot-buttons like background checks and amnesty has the makings of a Category Five shinolastorm among the base. Some House conservatives are already warning him not to cross the line:

The effort is being led by Reps. Paul Broun, a Senate hopeful gunning for Georgia’s open seat, and Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican who gained notoriety earlier this year for inviting rocker/2nd Amendment-defender Ted Nugent to the State of the Union.

“We are writing to express our strong opposition to legislation requiring private sale background checks for firearms purchases,” the letter reads. “Under the precedents and traditions of the House, we would ask that no gun legislation be brought to the floor of the House unless it has the support of a majority of our caucus.”…

A spokesman for Rep. Stockman says more than 45 Republicans have signed the letter, although it’s doubtful a “Hastert majority” of the House GOP will endorse it.

Other House members are warning him to follow regular order on immigration and not try to rush the bill through. Could a bill even get through GOP-dominated House committees, though? The only way to get something passed might be to violate both the Hastert Rule and regular order: Bypass the committees, rush something to the floor, and then hope that a unanimous Democratic caucus and critical mass of 30 or so GOP squishes rams it through. The question is, what if that happens? Will the caucus, under the microscope of a shady amnesty vote, be forced to oust him as Speaker? Or is Jonathan Bernstein right that tea-party congressmen kind of like the idea of seeing popular legislation pass, which arguably helps the party in the aggregate, while being able to vote no on it, which helps them in their home districts? It’s certainly true that, for all of Boehner’s anti-Hastert-Rule heresies, there’s been no serious effort to depose him. But maybe on immigration and, especially, on guns, the caucus would have no choice. If a bad bill passes and they don’t dump him, conservatives back home might hold it against them regardless of whether they voted no on the bill itself.

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I have no clue what this means. If Boehner’s testicles have dropped and he plans to begin representing us in a forthright, magnanimous manner collectively in a sane and conservative way go for it. If on the other hand he wants to tack left all by himself? Don’t pull an Obama Boehner, you won’t have the support and if you don’t have conservative support you wont have the talent to do it and survive. And tell your Buddies……..

Tangerinesong on April 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM

It’s just another example of how the Republicans are the stupid party. Here, the tea party gives them massive majorities in 2010 and what did they do with them? They elected a Speaker of the House who has no clue what all of that meant and never used the leverage he had. Now, while still having a majority, he’s diminishing the ability to use that majority to force legislation to take a more convervative slant.

IMHO, Boehner is hopeless. He has no clue he’s 3rd in line to the Presidency, the Speaker of the People’s House, and the one invested with the power of the purse. That’s not just hopeless, it’s stupid and an improper use of power.

Perhaps Boehner is just another low information voter.

bflat879 on April 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

If they stab us in the back on gun control even Boehner has to realized the Republicans are finished.

claudius on April 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM

When they write the history of the Republican party Boehner and McCain will figure prominently in some of the last chapters.

Over50 on April 14, 2013 at 8:35 AM