Home>Congress>Gottheimer frets that lowering Motion to Vacate threshold would result in House chaos

Rep. Josh Gottheimer at the groundbreaking for the Portal North Bridge, August 1, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Gottheimer frets that lowering Motion to Vacate threshold would result in House chaos

Threshold is key sticking point in negotiations between McCarthy, House Republican rebels 

By Joey Fox, January 05 2023 2:33 pm

With the vote for U.S. House Speaker currently on its eighth ballot, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) expressed worries today that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California)’s negotiations with the far-right representatives who oppose him will make the House more chaotic and less effective.

Of particular concern to Gottheimer is the threshold for the Motion to Vacate, which allows House members to propose a motion to depose the Speaker. Yesterday evening, McCarthy reportedly proposed that the threshold for such a motion could be lowered to one, meaning that any single Republican member of the House could throw a major wrench in House proceedings.

“I’m concerned that if they cave to the far-right extremists on the Motion to Vacate, and continue to give away the store on committees and rules, Congress could be forced into a gridlock nightmare for the next two years – all at the expense of American families and progress,” Gottheimer said in a statement.

Under former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the threshold for a Motion to Vacate was a majority of either party’s caucus; before then, under the Republican-led House, the threshold was one member, leading to havoc under former House Speaker John Boehner. Maintaining a high threshold was a key priority for Gottheimer and the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group he co-chairs.

“We just had a Congress that was extraordinarily bipartisan and productive, and we have a ton of work still to do, with real bipartisan opportunities for the country,” Gottheimer said today. “We can’t let a band of extremists get in the way of that and stop us from getting things done.”

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