The End of the Hastert Rule?

Fans of my multi-part series last year about fixes to American Democracy may remember the Hastert rule. Named for former Speaker Denny Hastert, thsi odious strategy said the Speaker won’t t bring any legislation up for a vote unless it held a majority within his own party. This kept any bill that had general support from passing, reduced bi-partisanship, and strengthened extremists on either side. (No surprise, the GOP embraced it, the Democrats mostly ignored it.)

Marjorie Taylor Greene and her bomb throwing buddies spectacularly failed to remove Mike Johnson. Why did they try to out him? Because he allowed legislation to pass with the support of Democrats. Why did this effort fail? Because Democrats voted to support Hastert.

Democrats did not do this for Kevin McCarthy, because McCarthy gave them nothing. Democrats overwhelmingly supported Johnson because he was willing to suspend the Hastert rule on key issues, and let the house pass bills by simple majority vote.

This is a great alliance, and I hope it holds through the election. Seeing Democrats and Republicans vote together is good for all of us.

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