Democrats reveal strategy to end shutdown
On Friday Democrats in the House of Representatives revealed a new strategy for ending the government shutdown. It is believed that if a vote were to take place on a continuing resolution to fund the government without any amendments to Obamacare, enough Republicans would join the Democrats to pass the resolution and end the shutdown.
The problem is House Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow such a vote to take place. No vote, no resolution no end to the government shutdown. However there is a little used legislative maneuver which Democrats are hoping will solve the problem.
That maneuver is called a discharge position. A discharge position forces a bill stuck in committee to be sent to the floor for a vote. It requires the signatures of a majority of members of the house. This is why the strategy is little used. Usually members act along party lines, which makes obtaining the needed signatures difficult.
The Democrats believe in this case, they can get enough moderate Republicans to sign the petition and thus force a vote on the continuing resolution. George Miller ( D-California) believes the needed signatures can be obtained in a day, but with the procedural hurdles involved, the earliest a vote could take place on passing a funding bill would be October 14.
I for one hope this strategy works. Not only would it end the shutdown, but it would be wonderful to see a bi-partisan solution to the crisis. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen any bipartisan cooperation on anything. Maybe if John Boehner saw he was going to lose, he might even spare the country the additional suffering.