By Russell Berman - 03/05/13 04:00 PM EST
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday he doesn’t plan to make a habit of passing bills through the House that lack the support of a Republican majority.
“It’s not a practice I would expect to continue long-term,” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door GOP Conference meeting.
The House last week passed the Senate’s reauthorization bill for the Violence Against Women Act despite the opposition of more than half the Republican Conference. The House GOP leadership tried to advance its own version of the measure but lost 60 of its own members and faced unified Democratic opposition.
In January, both the fiscal-cliff agreement and legislation providing state aid for Hurricane Sandy victims passed the House in a similar fashion, without a majority of Republicans voting in favor.
Boehner has never explicitly endorsed the "Hastert Rule," a policy named after former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.). He would only bring bills to the House floor that were backed by “a majority of the majority.” Boehner has instead pledged to let the House “work its will,” yet he is clearly aware of criticism from conservative members that House passage of Democratic-backed legislation is becoming too common.
“We tried everything we could to get the differences in our conference resolved,” Boehner said of the GOP’s failure to pass its own version of the Violence Against Women Act. “And the fact is they couldn’t resolve their differences. It was time to deal with this issue, and we did.”