19 Members of Congress From Both Parties Vow to Withhold Speaker Vote

September 28, 2018 by TWN Staff

On Thursday, 19 members of the Problem Solvers Caucus from both parties vowed to withhold their votes for any candidate for Speaker of the House who refuses to support House Rules reforms they argue will break the gridlock in Washington.

The rules package put forth by the group includes proposals to give fast-track priority consideration to bipartisan legislation and guarantees markups on bipartisan legislation from every Member of Congress.

“The Problem Solvers Caucus has had enough of the gridlock and we’re prepared to buck the status quo and pass common sense legislation on everything from infrastructure to immigration,” said Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who serves as the Problem Solvers’ Democratic Co-Chair.

To encourage consensus driven governing, the package would also replace the current “Motion to Vacate the Chair” to prevent the floor from being hijacked by the extremes of either party. The motion to vacate the chair is a parliamentary rule that describes the right of any member of the House of Representatives to call for the formal removal of a sitting Speaker of the House and the election of a new one.

“With a slim majority expected on either side of the aisle next Congress, a block of 19 Members will have a tremendous say over who will get to 218 on the House floor and secure the gavel for Speaker in January. Congress is broken and my colleagues understand this,” added the Problem Solvers’ Republican Co-Chair Tom Reed.

The members argue that the House Rules changes they are proposing will reward openness and transparency, encourage a willingness to reach across the aisle, create debate on divisive issues, and empower lawmakers to find real solutions concerning our nation’s most pressing matters.

“I am all in to end the dysfunction in the House. My vote for the next Speaker will be dependent on their agreement for the common-sense reforms we’ve outlined through the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus,” said Representative Fred Upton.

The 19 members of Congress to only vote for a Speaker of the House who will support House Rules reforms to “Break the Gridlock” in Washington include:

  1. Tom Reed (R-NY-23)
  2. Fred Upton (R-MI-6)
  3. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11)
  4. John Katko (R-NY-24)
  5. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26)
  6. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1)
  7. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8)
  8. Mike Coffman (R-CO-6)
  9. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7)
  10. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5)
  11. Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)
  12. Jim Costa (D-CA-16)
  13. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1)
  14. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-3)
  15. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
  16. Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3)
  17. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7)
  18. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)
  19. Darren Soto (D-FL-9)

The full list of goals and proposals in “Break the Gridlock” can be found HERE.

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