House conservatives have successfully derailed two radical bills which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had attempted to force through the lower chamber of Congress on a fast-track.
Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus described the move as “stunning.”
Pelosi attempted to railroad two highly controversial bills through a tactic known as “suspension of the rules”, a move which requires a supermajority vote to succeed. The first bill was a LGBT bill which would have made businesses owned by LGBT individuals to get lending favoritism in the same manner as minority-owned businesses receive. The other bill, was targeted at promoting abortion access, and would have allowed abortion drugs to be obtained through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A counter effort against these bills was spearheaded by Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Matt Rosendale (R-MT), who rallied conservatives to strike down the motions before Pelosi could have her way. With the effort of conservative members of the House, the bills failed to meet their two-thirds supermajority thresholds and were prevented from passing the chamber.
Biggs said that the point of attempting to run through radical legislation using the suspension tactic is to wear down opponents to slip less-radical bills through, which is why he says it’s important to remain vigilant and “fight on every issue.” Biggs added that the conservatives use a counter tactic to reign in this aggressive behavior on Democrats part, by demanding roll call votes that promote transparency to the public, get legislators votes on record, and force tyrants to “put the speed stick down.”
The roll call of votes shows that both votes failed, with the LGBT bill being voted on 248-177, the Veterans abortion bill failed by a larger margin of 240-188 votes.
Rosendale said in a statement that the event marks a significant loss for Democrats and the progressive movement.
Rosendale praised the Freedom Caucus strategy as an effective way to combat the Democrat’s majority, so long as there are “members willing to fight for principle,” He added that it was great to witness the efforts of the conservatives come together to “hand the Left a defeat” even though the Republicans were outnumbered.
The Tuesday night victories are the first time that the Republicans have been able to sink a set of bills using this tactic, but Biggs said that this has further reaching consequences than just ending the two bills, as it means that Democrats will have to negotiate with them moving forward.
Author: Daryl Chambers