Rep. Van Hollen on House Rule Change on Shutdown Vote: “Democracy has been Suspended!”

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) went viral in a YouTube video he released of his parliamentary inquiries on a change in House rules that forbade individual members to initiate a motion to open the Federal government. Only the Speaker of the House can now do so, in a highly undemocratic step.

Here is the Van Hollen inquiry:

11 Responses

  1. I guess that clears up any possible confusion regarding whether the U.S. of A. is a functioning democracy, or even dis-functioning one, yes?
    The elected government officials have now “Crossed the Rubicon” unto royalty.
    What blatant hubris; all hail!

  2. I think the rule change gave this ability to the majority leader, which would be Eric Cantor. Not that that helps anything.

    The rule was an anti-gridlock provision. By changing it, the GOP comes down firmly in support of gridlock. The Gridlock Obstruction Party.

    • The House Majority can set the rules. Democrats couldn’t stop it. It happened because Republicans did it on purpose to prevent democracy from occurring.

  3. Simple question: Why can’t they simply override these people and get on with it? I honestly don’t understand how a minority of disgruntled obstructionists can simply block the functioning of the entire govt. day after day. Just propose a vote, have it, and if they want to stew, let them. What could they do about it?

    • Those “obstructionists” are actually enriching themselves at the expense of everyone else. They know how to leave the impression they are just abiding by “the rules,” which obviously can easily be gamed. Those folks know that unlike them, the rest of are dependent in so many ways on the belief in the legitimacy of our rulership and the existence of an ordered system of laws. It’s one of the horrible weaknesses of ordinary people that leaves them subject to stripping and robbing, by parasites and predators who know there are no consequences for them…

      “Without remedies, there are no rights…”

  4. Did I somehow miss the companion piece in which Leon Panetta said that Prez. Obama was also being obsructionist,
    that it wasn’t just the GOP ?

  5. Tea Party rebels who met at the Tortilla Coast violated their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the US, under specific terms of Amendment 14: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law….. shall not be questioned.”
    A majority of the Senate should pass an “emergency powers” resolution, petitioning the President to defend the validity of the public debt by borrowing sufficient funds to pay all legal obligations as they become due and payable. Although this Senate resolution would not be a law, it would be a clear signal that the majority of the Senate will support the President, if the debt ceiling has to be violated by the Executive Branch to safeguard the validity of the public debt.
    The Tea Party rebels might attempt to impeach the President, but the majority in the Senate would have signaled that temporary “emergency powers” were warranted.

    • Believe me, that’s not their only problem with the 14th Amendment. Look up the term “13th Amendment citizen” to learn what the people who formed the Tea Party were talking about before they had any media spotlight.

  6. Not on the front page of any newspaper nor in any other place I heard or saw aside from Randi Rhodes. Thank you Professor Cole

  7. Well, thank god the Senate didn’t use the nuclear option because unlike this highly democratic activity, it would just not be fair if the Democrats did it.

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