The fiscal cliff inexorably approaches. One reason a compromise solution wasn’t reached is the “Hastert Rule.” This rule allowed a few GOP representatives in the House to block the recent compromise proposed by House Speaker John Boehner.
This rule, adopted by the GOP in 1995, says when the GOP is the majority party in the House of Representatives, more than half of the GOP must support a bill or it will not be introduced. The Democrats have no similar rule.
A version of Boehner’s proposal might have provided a solution if the House allowed it to be introduced, but it never even got to the discussion phase.
This arbitrary rule assures that our two parties remain divided. It’s worth noting that between the GOP and the Democrats, it’s probable that a House majority consisting of representatives from both parties could find common ground to pass a compromise bill. Our country’s electorate is from both sides, so a compromise bill would represent most of the electorate. Perfect.
By adhering this rule, the GOP eliminates some paths to solutions. In Reagan’s day politics were contentious, but compromises were reached and served the people of our country, but it’s no longer possible. Now it’s all about party, and the hell with our country and wishes of the electorate.
Small wonder that Congress gets such low marks.
Ron PAITICH, Auburn