Just before the federal government officially shut down at the end of the day on Monday, Sept. 30, the House of Representatives adopted a Rules Committee resolution taking away the right of any House member to move to bring a Senate bill to a vote and reserving that right exclusively for the House's majority leader or his designee.
And, since that's the kind of vote that will be needed to end the shutdown, the shutdown could be prolonged as long as House Republicans wish.
Van Hollen attempted "to present a motion to accept the Senate's clean continuing resolution and reopen the government." But, "acting according to the new H.R. 368, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), presiding over the chamber, told Van Hollen that the rule he was asking to use had been 'altered' and [that Van Hollen] did not have the privilege of bringing that vote to the floor," Huffington Post reported.
"Why were the rules rigged to keep the government shut down?" Van Hollen asked. "Democracy has been suspended."
Hear what else Van Hollen had to say about the rule alteration in thisYouTube video clip that has gone viral.