GOP lawmaker seeks to block use of obscure rule

GOP lawmaker seeks to block use of obscure rule
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Monday introduced a resolution that would block House Democrats from using an obscure rule to trigger a vote on a “clean” bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Resolved, That any motion pursuant to clause 4 of rule XXII relating to the bill H.R. 240 may be offered only by the majority leader or his designee,” King’s resolution says. 

King, an immigration hard-liner, voted against two short-term DHS funding bills on Friday because they did not defund President Obama’s immigration orders.

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Under House rules, any member can make a “privileged motion” to disregard an amendment when there’s a disagreement between the House and Senate on a bill or resolution.

Senate Democrats on Monday evening are expected to block a bill, passed by the House on Friday, that would form a conference committee between both chambers in an effort to hash out differences over funding the DHS and the GOP’s opposition to Obama’s immigration actions.

Once that bill gets stuck on the Senate side, a House Democrat could motion to dismiss that conference measure and automatically trigger a vote on the clean DHS funding bill the Senate passed last week.

On Monday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) predicted Democrats wouldn’t have to pursue that strategy.

He said it’s “obviously an option” but suggested Republicans would bring the bill to the floor on their own.

“The reason we recommended to our folks to vote for the one week [was] to give the opportunity for regular order,” he said. “That would not be regular order.”

Hoyer told reporters he expects House GOP leaders to bring the clean Senate-passed bill to the floor this week funding the DHS through Sept. 30. Congress must pass another funding bill for the department before midnight on Friday.

Mike Lillis contributed.