The Washington Post

Boehner on Hastert Rule: ‘It was never a rule to begin with’

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) signaled Thursday that he may continue to bypass a House Republican rule that has required any legislation being voted upon to have the support of a majority of the GOP conference.

Boehner has flouted the so-called "Hastert Rule" -- named for former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) -- on a few pieces of key legislation so far this year, which hasn't sat well with some conservatives.

He said at a news conference Thursday that he will continue to try and follow it in spirit, but also suggested he might well violate it for upcoming votes on guns, immigration and the budget.

“Listen: It was never a rule to begin with," Boehner said. "And certainly my prerogative – my intention is to always pass bills with strong Republican support.”

Boehner in early March sought to reassure his conference that the rule would continue to be regular practice, but he broke it again earlier this week.

Many of the big upcoming votes in the House -- specifically on immigration, guns and the budget -- could struggle to get the votes of a majority of the GOP conference, which under the Hastert Rule would prevent them from coming to a vote at all.

Boehner, of course, is hardly the first speaker to violate the rule. Hastert himself even violated it from time to time.

Updated at 5:19 p.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college
Next Story
Rachel Weiner · April 11, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.