GOP lawmaker says he'll back Dem rules even though he may face 'consequences' for vote

Rep. Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Democratic plan for smaller paychecks House passes bill to update tax code to help same-sex married couples MORE (R-N.Y.) on Wednesday said he plans to vote this week for a package of rules unveiled by House Democrats for the new Congress, an unusual move for a lawmaker in the minority party.

The New York Republican said in a statement that he decided to support the Democratic-backed rules because they include updates to the legislative process that he pushed for as co-chairman of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

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“This vote isn’t about partisan politics. It is about doing what is right for the American people. The reforms the Problem Solvers Caucus were able to get included in this rules package go a long way to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file Members to govern and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass," he said. “We are proud to walk the talk of reaching across the aisle to best serve the people who sent us here.”

By voting to approve the rules package of the majority party, Reed would become the first member of the opposition party to do so since 2001.

Earlier on Wednesday he told The Washington Post that he has received threats of "consequences" from Republican leadership if he votes to support the rules package, though he declined to elaborate.

“I won’t speak to that right now, because hopefully there is reconsideration of it,” he told the Post. “But it is what it is, and I recognize that some people want to continue to play us-versus-them politics, but I came to Washington to change it, and I’m willing to put my voting card where my mouth is.”

The rules package contains changes sought by the Problem Solvers Caucus, including a provision allowing bill sponsors who have at least 290 co-sponsors — but whose legislation hasn't been reported out of committee — to request that those measures be placed on the consensus calendar, bringing them closer to a floor vote.

The change is meant to give bills with bipartisan support a path to the House floor even if the bills are stalled in committee.

Meanwhile, at least two Democrats plan to vote against the package because of a pay-as-you-go budgetary provision that would require new spending be offset by either budget cuts or tax increases.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) each said they would vote against the package because of that provision.

Updated at 4:40 p.m.