Dumb Customs

Speaker Boehner, Ditch the Hastert Rule

01.16.13 3:52 PM ET

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A very big thing happened last night in the House of Representatives. For the second time this month, Boehner broke the Hastert Rule. The issue was Hurricane Sandy relief, a follow-up vote to a smaller package approved earlier this month. It passed, but the important thing is how it passed:

Yeas: 241 (192 Democrats, 49 Republicans)
Nays: 180 (Rep. Jim Cooper + 179 Republicans)

My advice for the Speaker? Ditch the rule. It might cost you the Speakership, but presiding over a classically dysfunctional House with the rule might do the same thing. For all the talk of polarization, there are legitimate spaces for coalition building in the House. If the Hastert Rule stands in its way, good riddance. As a bonus, getting rid of a rule designed for a parliamentary body is always a good thing.