The House Freedom Caucus has taken grief from leftists in Congress for using procedural moves to try to slow down the onslaught of lunatic legislation spewing forth from Democrats.
One of the favorite tools of the establishment uni-party (“swamp”) is the “suspension” bill. This process is used almost every week to pass pieces of legislation without a constitutionally mandated quorum of House members on the floor, and without recording how individual members vote. Instead, bills are passed by a “voice vote” while only a small handful, sometimes just two, members are present.
In one recent week, Democrats were attempting to pass 21 bills with only one Republican and one Democrat on the floor. This violates the constitutional requirement that a majority of the House be present to conduct business.
When two House Freedom Caucus members showed up on the floor to go to work we doubled the number of House members in the House chamber.
The Democrats would have used the suspension tactic without our presence. These bills were not simply naming federal buildings, but everyone was substantive. One of those bills revised how banking laws affect income from marijuana dispensaries. That is a substantive bill on which the American people ought to be able to see how their elected representatives voted.
Thanks to the House Freedom Caucus Floor Action Response Team they can.
It is worth emphasizing that these bills are being passed out of the House, either to go to the Senate for a vote there, or to the White House to be signed into law, with just a couple of House members on the floor and without a recorded vote.
Many members of Congress are surprised to find out that we don’t take a recorded vote on every bill that passes out of the House.
This is a practice that should be discontinued. But, Republicans should particularly use the tools that we have to slow down the advancement of the wildly Left policies by House Democrats.
In order to put the brakes on the left’s 21 bills, HFC members requested that each of those bills receive a recorded vote with a quorum being present.
The Democrats response was to change the rules! They crammed the bulk of the 21 bills into one large bill and then voted to suspend the rules on that bill.
Disappointingly, a majority of Republicans voted to pass the new omnibus version of the suspension bills, along with every Democrat.
I’ve had several Republicans tell me that they appreciate that the HFC is fighting, but ask why we request a recorded vote by a quorum of members on every bill that passes out of the House.
We are at a crossroads for America. Isn’t the direction and salvation of our nation reason enough to pull out the stops?
Congress should always record our votes and vote with a quorum present, but especially now.
As Democrats speedily try to push America over the cliff and turn us into Venezuela, Republicans should be pushing back as hard as we can. And that includes using the procedures and rules of the House.
Andy Biggs represents the 5th District of the Arizona and is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.