Head-to-head: Paul Ryan’s voting rule has backlash
2 mins read

Head-to-head: Paul Ryan’s voting rule has backlash

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently exercised a seemingly obscure rule that disenfranchised American voters.

Because of this rule, Ryan was able to slam the voting shut after only 15 minutes, at a time when many members of Congress were in the chamber, and some were even “coming in the door,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

Ryan cut the voting short on a measure aimed at preventing the Obama Administration from lifting international sanctions on Iran, claiming that Iran must first guarantee they’re not involved with terrorism, or their own ballistic missile program

While some believe Ryan was trying to encourage his congressional counterparts to be on time, the move has seen more backlash than benefits.

Iran has been a crucial and complex foreign policy issue in recent years. So it’s expected that all members of the House, and the constituents whom they represent, deserve a vote.

However, after half of the usual amount of time it takes to vote, Ryan closed the vote,  stripping more than 130 lawmakers of their vote. Those 130 lawmakers likely represent as many as 77 million Americans whose voices weren’t heard by their government in an attempt to save a few minutes of Speaker Ryan’s priceless time.

Furthermore, this move is an attempt at a political backdoor. If all members of the House who wanted to vote against the measure were tardy, the measure would pass effortlessly, forcing the Obama Administration backward in their attempts to normalize relations with Iran.

This would be a huge political victory for the Republicans of the House, as several Republican-supported pieces of legislation have landed on the President’s desk and been vetoed shortly thereafter.

Ryan’s political backdoor, however, opened to reveal nothing but a wall: the measure failed to pass through the house 191-106.

But if you fail, try and try again. A spokeswoman for the Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said there’s a plan to conduct another vote on the same legislation the week of Jan. 25.

Was Ryan merely trying to force Congress to be on time? If this were the case, the best way to cement his point would be to kill any re-vote attempt. As this will likely not be the case, expect Ryan to hold the vote open longer as to gather the votes he wants.