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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 16, 2021 02:03 PM
From: Representative Mike Zabel
To: All House members
Subject: Rules Reform - Protect the Right to Debate
Too often, members of the House have tried to block amendments or stifle debate as ways to accomplish party goals and defeat the opposing side.  These tactics have, unfortunately, become far too common over the past few years.  Both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of using such methods in the past in order to advance their respective agendas even though, at their core, such actions fundamentally undermine our shared democracy.  
By way of advancing our respective causes more efficiently, I am planning on introducing legislation that would prevent members from blocking amendments or ending debate on a bill.  This legislation would change the current requirement of a simple majority vote to revert to the previous question – that is, to end any attempt to amend a bill and to end all debate and force an immediate vote.  Such a move would still be permitted, but a two-thirds supermajority of members would need to vote in the affirmative in order to allow it.  This change will guarantee a true bipartisan consensus.
I believe that this legislation will encourage debate and consensus-building among members, and thereby strengthen the democratic process. Please join me in protecting the right to debate by co-sponsoring this legislation. 

Introduced as HR85