From Rep. Connolly and Rep. Moran.
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Gerry Connolly and Jim Moran today slammed a controversial House Rules change forced by the Republican majority that gives House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sole authority to prevent the House from voting for a clean funding bill to end the federal government shutdown.
At a Capitol Hill press conference, Connolly and Moran pointed out that the shutdown has hurt Virginia, more than any other state. “Our people are hurting,” Connolly said.
Virginia is home to more than 185,000 federal employees. It has a strong military presence and a large number of veterans. One-third of the state’s economy is dependent on federal spending and federal contracting is big business in the Commonwealth.
“This affects real lives. Imagine the shock all of us had when we learned the power since October 1st — the power to bring a clean CR to the floor that so many of our fellow members of Congress have said they would support, including four Republicans and three Democrats in the Virginia delegation — was in the hands of a Virginian, Eric Cantor,” Connolly said. “So we call on him to use that power and allow a vote to reopen the government and to stop the suffering of our fellow Virginians.”
Under the House Rules in force for two centuries, any member of the House could bring up the Senate-passed “clean continuing resolution.” But under the Rules change passed by the House majority in early October, only Cantor can bring up the bill.
“The House majority would not have added this language if they didn’t know that a clear CR would pass if brought to the floor. They didn’t even restrict the power to a member of the Majority. They only gave it to House Majority Leader Cantor,” Connolly said.