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Over the past few days a bit of a media buzz has surrounded what was portrayed as a virtual "stealth" effort to deny Democrats an opportunity to force a vote on a so-called "clean Continuing Resolution" to open the government and end the shutdown.
As the story goes the Republicans, led by their Tea Party Terrorist faction, cleverly passed (presumably when no one was looking) an amendment to the prevailing House rules as to who can call for a vote on this type of resolution. Without getting into a detailed discussion of House rules, the "standing rule" would have enabled any House member to bring to the House floor the resolution adopted by the Senate to reopen the government. Speaker Boehner has refused to post that resolution for consideration.
On October 1st the Republicans adopted a resolution - House Resolution 368 which prohibits any House member except the Majority Leader (Eric Cantor) or his designee from from forcing the Continuing Resolution to the House floor for consideration and a vote.
The vote to approve the Republican plan, and afford to Cantor the ability to literally block anything, took place at 1:00am on October 1st. Certainly this lends itself to the notion of a "sneak attack" or something passed in "the dark of night." But if you look at the roll call vote tally you will see that 427 members voted on the measure. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) voted against it. He's the guy who exposed the fraud on the House floor this past Saturday.
I have two questions for Congressman Van Hollen.
First, where have you been since October 1st in bringing this to the public's attention? You voted against it, so you must have known about.
Second, how come you haven't called out the seven Democratic members - I'm inclined to call them traitors - who voted for it with the Republicans?
The Seven Democratic turncoats who joined with the Rs to enhance the Tea Party Terrorists ability to continue holding the nation hostage are: Ron Barber-AZ, John Barrow-GA, Dan Maffei-NY, Sean Patrick Maloney-NY, Jim Matheson-UT, Mike McIntyre-NC, Collin Peterson-MN.
This is the one characteristic of the Democrats in Congress that is so disturbing. The Democrats often take pride in the fact that their caucus is very diverse with many different viewpoints. Good, that is a good quality. But every now and then members of a party -believers in a cause if you will - need to stand up be counted for their side. These seven didn't. They sided with the House Republican Hostage Takers.