Conservative Action Project: Formally Pass Hastert Rule, Remain United
The Conservative Action Project, chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese and former Congressman David McIntosh, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participants include the CEO’s of over 100 organizations representing all major elements of the conservative movement-economic, social and national security.
The following letter was just sent to Republican House Members in support of codifying the “Hastert Rule” to ensure that legislation being brought to the House floor is supported by at least half of Republicans in the House.Republican Member of Congress United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Republican Member of Congress:
In the past 20 years, each time the American people entrusted Republicans with the power of a majority in Congress you were united behind the key principles of freedom, limited government, and American values. In 2010, your mandate, based on the “Pledge to America,” was to stop tax increases, repeal Obamacare, roll back spending to 2008 levels, only pass constitutional bills, and support our troops. In 2012 you were returned to power as a check on President Obama’s liberal tax and spend agenda. One way past Speakers Denny Hastert and Newt Gingrich ensured that Republicans stayed true to their mandate was to make sure that any bill they scheduled for a vote on the House floor was supported by at least a majority of the House Republicans. This process – known as the “Hastert Rule” helped to ensure that the party kept faith with the American people.
Recently House Republicans have passed bills that are inconsistent with its mandate from the American people. According to the New York Times, the worst violations of trust have been done when the leadership takes bills to the floor that only a few Republicans support, but are the agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama. The fiscal cliff tax increases, increased pork spending buried into the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, and the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization all passed the House over the opposition of a majority of House Republicans.
Now you face issues such as gun control, immigration reform, tax increases, and a debt ceiling that threaten to divide Republicans and in so doing empower the liberal minority in the House.
We are writing you today to encourage you to boldly use your majority not only to present a positive conservative vision, but also as the last backstop against the worst excesses of liberalism and Washington deal-making. Liberal Democrats control the White House and the Senate. We should not help their cause by handing them the keys to the House as well.
To that end, we encourage you to formally pass the Hastert Rule that requires a “majority of the majority” to pass legislation. A growing number of House members support an effort to change Republican Conference rules to codify the Hastert Rule.
Codifying the Hastert rule will make the Republican majority stronger in many ways:
- By ensuring that contentious legislation is supported by at least a majority of the Majority, the rule will help to restore and foster unity in the GOP conference.
- The Hastert Rule will restore confidence among Americans and the grass roots supporters that the Republican House continues to pursue the conservative mandate they were elected to work towards.
- Not only will this rule prevent bad policy being passed against the wishes of the Republican majority, it will strengthen the hand of our leadership in negotiations – knowing that legislation cannot pass the House without significant Republican support.
It is more important than ever for House Republicans to be united. We cannot and must not accept that divided government means just a slightly slower advance of liberalism. We urge you to support this important rules change that will strengthen the Republican majority, unify conservatives, and show the American people that we are serious about stopping the erosion of liberty in America.