Currinder, Huder in LSE Blog: The Hastert Rule Is Limiting The Speaker

Senior Fellows Marian Currinder and Joshua Huder published again this week on the dynamics of Speaker John Boehner’s role in the government shutdown negotiations:

House Speaker John Boehner’s current predicament is as challenging as it is familiar. Once again, he is caught between placating House Republicans, and passing legislation that can survive the Democratic-controlled Senate.  With funding the federal government and ending the shutdown at stake, he must decide whether to lead his party by adhering to the Hastert Rule, or forge some sort of compromise with Democrats and effectively break the rule.

Understanding Boehner’s dilemma requires understanding the Hastert Rule’s origins. First, the rule is not really a rule. It cannot be found in the rules or the precedents that govern House floor procedure. The term is derived from a practice that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert adhered to when bringing bills to the floor. In short, nothing comes to the floor unless it is supported by a majority of the majority party. The practice started as an informal pledge but over time developed into a procedural norm.

Read the rest of the post at the London School of Economics American Politics Policy Blog>>