The Rule Change

On 9/30/2013 the House Rules Committee changed the rules.

This was the house rule before the change:

“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.”

Meaning that on the night in question when it was clear there was an impasse, any motion from any member could have put the clean Senate Bill up for a vote.

This is the rule after the change:

1. Provides that the House insists on its amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J. Res. 59, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, and requests a conference with the Senate thereon.

2. Section 2 of the rule provides that any motion pursuant to clause 4 of rule XXII relating to H.J. Res. 59 may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.

Meaning that House Majority Leader Cantor or his designee had to bring the motion to the floor.  Which he didn’t.

Republican House Rules Committee Chairman Sessions on 9/30/13 explained the reason behind the change:

“What we’re attempting to do is to actually get our people together rather than trying to make a decision. We’re trying to actually have a conference and the gentlewoman knows that there are rules related to privileged motions that could take place almost effective immediately, and we’re trying to go to conference. We think that’s the quickest way to get that done.  Under the rules that you know you were in reference to, there could be a motion as early as tonight and it could be, conference would be avoided.  We want a conference.”

Despite refusing 18 requests to have a conference prior to the shut down.

Related link with video and transcript:

Updated 10/13/2013 to add:

Here is another video that discusses this:


On Eve Of Shutdown, House GOP Rigged The House Rules To Prevent Democrats Reopening Government (

H.J. Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014 (Senate Amendment III) (

Welcome to part of the Ryan Budget (


3 thoughts on “The Rule Change

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  1. Quite interesting, but not surprising. I saw where Senator Cruz has teamed up with Sarah Palin. That should be prima facie evidence that maybe your opinion is not sound.


    1. I read articles about the rally/protest they both attended together over the weekend. One article called it a tea party rally. Another article said that the Tea Party and Politicians crashed the planned Million Vet March protest over the closed WW2 memorial.

      Palin might be running for Senate or the House of Representatives. The world of politics has gotten really strange. As Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction….”


      Veterans Slam Tea Party Politicians For Hijacking Protest Against War Memorial Closures (


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