Hastert: When you break my rule, ‘you’re not in power anymore’

Tuesday night's House vote to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts violated the so-called "Hastert Rule," because the legislation went to the floor without the support of a majority of the Republican majority. It's named for former House speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who made that his policy in 2004. 

Hastert himself told Fox News Radio Thursday morning that while you might have to break that rule once or twice, by doing so House Speaker John Boehner is going down a dangerous path. 

"Maybe you can do it once or maybe you can do it twice, but when start making deals where you have to get Democrats to pass the legislation, you're not in power anymore," he said. "When you start passing stuff that your members are not in line with, all of a sudden your ability to lead is in jeopardy because somebody else is making decisions." 

The Hill reported Wednesday that Boehner will no longer engage in private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama. Instead, he will let the House come up with its own legislation for the Senate to handle. 

Hastert resigned in late 2007, a year after losing his gavel to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and he emphasized in the interview that he isn't privy to internal Capitol Hill negotiations. The Democratic speaker did not follow the Hastert rule. 

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Laura Vozzella | January 3, 2013