Here’s How the GOP Is Legally Holding the Government Hostage

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Here's How the GOP Is Legally Holding the Government Hostage

Oh, government!

For those of you still wondering if the government shutdown is a product of bipartisan failure … this video will be all the evidence you need to see that it’s a complete Republican sh*tshow.

Late in the evening of Sept. 30 this year, just three hours before the government shut down over a supposed argument about Obamacare, the House Rules Committee (not to be confused with The Cider House Rules, bro! Tobey Maguire’s finest hour!) decided that the vote that asks for the repeal of the shutdown must be called into effect only by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor or someone appointed by him. Yep!


That means that the shutdown can’t be called off unless it’s specifically asked for by the GOP leadership. That means that Republicans have actually changed the rules in order to make sure that the government shutdown is played by their rules. It’s one of the grossest displays of nonpartisanship in recent memory, possibly in a generation. Not to get all Liberal-Matt-Drudge on you (I mean, the site design alone is better than his), but I invite anyone to see the evidence below and not rule that the GOP employed some incredibly shitty, sneaky and backhanded political tactics in order to push their pro-Christian, pro-Ayn-Randian agenda forward.

In the video below of the incident, where Democratic Congressman Chis Van Hollen of Maryland confronts the House about the tactic, you can actually hear members of Congress boo.

Chris had this to say on his YouTube page:

Late in the evening on September 30, 2013, the House Rules Committee Republicans changed the Rules of the House so that the ONLY Member allowed to call up the Senate’s clean CR for a vote was Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his designee — all but guaranteeing the government would shut down a few hours later and would stay shut down. Previously, any Member would have had the right to bring the CR up for a vote. Democracy has been suspended in the House of Representatives.

The Huffington Post has a full transcript:

“Under section 2 of H.R. 368, that motion may be offered only by the majority leader or his designee,” Chaffetz said.

“Mr. Speaker, why were the rules rigged to keep the government shut down?” Van Hollen asked.

“The gentleman will suspend,” Chaffetz interjected.

“Democracy has been suspended, Mr. Speaker.”

It’s a truly bizarre, niggling little rule change that has in effect caused the entire shutdown of the U.S. government and reduced democracy to a hostage tactic situation. They aren’t playing by the rules, they’re making them up as they go along and are keeping millions of Americans without food on the table or correct infrastructure. This isn’t the way that the government has been run for over 200 years, and now, Republicans find it necessary to rip up the playbook just so they can get a leg over and “win” some sort of “We Did It!” award, erasing their own jobs in government so that big business can take over.

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