Republicans mull new punishments for dissident lawmakers

by
September 6, 2018

Austin Scott

House Republicans are chewing over a proposal to hold members accountable for not voting along party lines or signing discharge petitions — two acts of rebellion that GOP leadership has had to grapple with this year.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) pitched the idea on Tuesday to the Steering Committee, where it received a warm reception, but the panel decided to hold off on voting on the resolution until after the midterm elections, according to two GOP lawmakers who were present and a Republican source.

he resolution would require the Steering Committee to review whether changes should be made to a lawmaker’s committee assignments if they vote against a rule, which sets the stage for floor debate on legislation and is almost always passed along party lines, or if they support a discharge petition, which is a tool to force floor votes with 218 signatures and circumvent leadership.

And committee chairs could see their gavels on the line if they vote against anything considered a key “leadership issue” under the proposal, according to a GOP source.

The thinking is that chairmen and members who belong to the most coveted committees should be the biggest team players, especially when it comes to tough votes.

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