Representative Chaffetz at the center of a controversial rule change

Oct 16, 2013

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is caught in the middle of what Democrats are calling a Republican trick to keep the government’s doors closed. 

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, acting as Speaker of House, is caught in the middle of a controversial video concerning the changing of a House rule.

Rep. Chaffetz is featured in a viral C-Span video which shows a tense moment between he, acting as Speaker of the House, and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen concerning the change of a standing House rule. 

In the video, Van Hollen attempts to bring the "clean continuing resolution" to a House vote and Chaffetz, affirming the newly-passed change to the house rules, denies the motion.

"Under section two of House Resolution 368, that motion may be offered only by the majority leader or his designee," said Chaffetz.

October 1, the House Rules Committee passed HR 368, which takes away the privilege of all members of the House to bring bills to a vote, limiting it to the House majority leader. 

"The House Rules Committee, under the rules of the house, changed the standing rules of the house to take away the right of any member to move to vote to reopen the government and gave that right exclusively to the republican leader; is that right," said van Hollen. 

The resolution passed hours after the government shutdown with the support of 230 Republicans and 11 Democrats, including Utah Rep. Jim Matheson.

Democrats are calling the action a suspension of democracy and accuse Republicans of deliberately preventing progress on joint resolutions by limiting proposals to vote, adding more tension to an already pressured congress.

Many fear this resolution will make the possibility of the government reopening before the debt ceiling crisis is reached Thursday even more remote.

Taylor Halversen is a senior at Utah State University, majoring in Communication Studies and Liberal Arts. She's from Sandy, Utah and is interested in discovering new and random things to try and attempting to live life wholly and healthily. She loves music and climbing anything from trees to mountains.