Obstructionism and Extremism Block Progress in The U.S. House

Lippitt's Policy and Politics Blog

ABSTRACT: While the use of the filibuster in the US Senate gets more attention, the obstructionism and extremism in the US House is more insidious. And it is no less harmful. One of the tactics in the House is the so-called “Hastert rule.” It stipulates that no piece of legislation will be voted on unless over half the members of the Republican majority support it. Therefore, 27% of the members of the House – barely over one quarter – can stop progress. The bipartisan immigration reform bill that the Senate passed is a current example of legislation that this conservative minority has blocked from consideration. It has meant that bipartisan compromises negotiated by the current Republican House Speaker John Boehner are rejected. Legislation that does pass the House is generally so conservative that it has no chance of becoming law. This is a major contributor to the current gridlock…

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