Shortly before United States House of Representatives members left Washington, DC for the August recess, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced a resolution declaring the office of speaker of the house vacant. The passing of the resolution would effectively fire House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) from his top leadership position.
While Meadows’ resolution is unusual, so also was 24 Republicans choosing to vote for a variety of people to be speaker instead of fellow party member Boehner in January at the beginning of the new Congress. Another Republican member voted “present,” while four more did not vote.
Meadows’ short and to the point resolution (H. Res. 385), composed largely of alleging Boehner’s abuses of power in the House, may be read here:
Declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives vacant.
Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decisionmaking, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;
Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the executive and judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American people;
Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker;
Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;
Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American people, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation;
Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;
Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative process; and
Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.
Regular readers at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity website should not be surprised by the allegations of abuse of power that H. Res. 385 lays out. Similar abuses have been chronicled at the RPI website over the institute’s two and a half years history. Below is a sample of 10 RPI articles providing examples of the types of inappropriate conduct in the House that are listed in the resolution:
“Defense Bill Up Today: Mini-Rebellion Crushed” on July 23, 2013
“Toothless USA FREEDOM Act Losing Support” on May 21, 2014
“Rep. Zoe Lofgren: USA FREEDOM Act Secretly 'Altered in Worrisome Ways’” on May 23, 2014
“House Procedure in Action: Pro-Drug War Amendment OK, Pro-Gun Rights Amendment Prohibited” on July 17, 2014
“No Dissent Heard as House and Senate Quickly Approve $225 million for Israel War” on August 4, 2014
“Speaker John Boehner Says House Should Vote on ISIS War but Refuses to Allow Vote” on September 30, 2014
“Speaker Vote Highlights US House’s Unchecked Procedural Corruption” on January 6, 2015
“Speaker John Boehner’s Endless Excuses for Blocking an ISIS War Debate and Vote” on May 31, 2015
“House Leadership's Iron Fist on Defense Appropriations Bill” on July 13, 2015
“Today Congress Votes to Take Your Passport” on July 21, 2015