In some ways it’s an unlikely viral video. It’s a fairly dry five-minute clip concerning a recent change to parliamentary procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In this YouTube video, which as of Monday night has 2.4 million views, Maryland’s Rep. Chris Van Hollen stages an extended parliamentary inquiry to demonstrate how House Rule XXII, Clause Four, which states that “When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a resolution to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged,” has been altered by House Resolution 368 to admit such a resolution only from “the House Majority Leader or his designee.”
Van Hollen’s point is that under the old rules, any member of the House could have moved to end the budget stalemate with the Senate and reopen the government. But currently, only Virginia Republican and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (or his designee) could do such a thing.
It’s a slow burn, but it ends with a climactic exchange, in which Speaker Pro Tempore Jason Chaffetz says, “The gentleman will suspend.” To that Van Hollen responds, “Well, Mr. Speaker, Democracy has been suspended.”
It doesn’t really fix anything, but it lands another blow in the ongoing fight over who’s at fault in this ultimate legislative fail that is the shutdown:
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