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Press Release

FreedomWorks Opposes Proposed House Rule Change


FreedomWorks today voiced strong opposition to a change to the rules of the House of Representatives proposed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The proposed rule change would dissolve the privileged status of the “motion to vacate the chair,” by which an individual member could make the motion from the floor and force a vote to vacate the office of the Speaker of the House, and require a majority of a party’s conference to introduce the motion.

“The motion to vacate the chair is the most powerful tool members of the House have to ensure that the speaker is kept in check. It’s the sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of whomever happens to hold the office,” said FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. “This tool, which is part of the House rules written by Thomas Jefferson, should not be altered under any circumstances.”

“Sadly, Rep. Nunes has been working to limit the democratic prerogatives of the members of the House of Representatives. He has introduced a proposal that would limit the ability of House members to choose a new Speaker of the House,” Brandon said. “Rep. Nunes proposed a roadblock: before the motion can be brought up in the House, that member’s party conference in the House would have to sign off on moving ahead. And since these entities are controlled by either the speaker or the minority leader, approval just won’t happen. That is exactly what Rep. Nunes wants.”

In July 2015, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) filed a motion to vacate the chair when John Boehner (R-Ohio) held the Speaker’s gavel, citing Boehner’s consolidation of power, proclivity for governing by crisis, and punishment of members “who vote according to their conscience.” Boehner announced his retirement from the House in September 2015 and resigned from office.

While a vote was not held on Rep. Meadows’ motion, it’s likely that enough House Republicans would have voted for another candidate for Speaker to force a second ballot, which would have effectively served as a vote of no confidence in Boehner, or Boehner would have had to rely on House Democrats to salvage his speakership.

“It was the House Freedom Caucus who wanted Speaker Boehner removed, and it was Rep. Meadows who pressed the issue. Rep. Nunes once called these constitutional conservatives ‘lemmings with suicide vests.’ Instead of respecting his colleagues, their parliamentary prerogatives, and their constituents, he seeks to do the work of the status quo and thwart them,” Brandon added.

FreedomWorks aims to educate, build, and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law. For more information, please visit or contact Jason Pye at

ellislee's picture
ellis allison

stone stone:
Liberal? I assume from the post that your a progressive liberal. Another blinded by lies that has no desire to see the truth. Change that has future freedom being diminished and government growing larger and more powerful to the extent of tyranny is what you believe positive change? It is unfortunate that you are ignorant to realize that your freedom is being systematically taken away by unconstitutional liberal policies. Those that embrace change that erodes freedom, grows government and leads the country down the path of socialism will deserve the government they they so embraced. Liberal policies that throw morality and religious freedom out. My, your view of future America must be dismal and bleek. To believe that liberals are leading the country to prosperity and a better way of life is living in total denial. Not seeing the nation is in decline, the chaos incited and seemingly embraced by left (but blamed on conservatives) and the division created in the country by the liberal agenda is blatant ignorance!

stonestone's picture
stone stone

Your rant represents precisely why "your side" will lose this election by a huge landslide, just like you did in 08 and 12. While you conservatives gush on and on about the constitution, freedom ( including that nasty veiled "religious freedom" crap, its conservatives whom over time have been the most against actual constitutional freedoms.

Everything you said above comes from years of false promises and lies from your dear GOP. They failed because what they promise will never happen.

If you guys want to start acting like adults and actually come back to the bargaining table then that is welcome. But continue on as you guys have and you will continue to lose. That's the facts.

stonestone's picture
stone stone

Well well well... here we are and its a slim 28 days left to go in yet another election. And yet this fake astroturf organization still exists. Oh how sweet it will be when despite all of the gerrymandering, the manipulation, the obstructionism and of course- the "tea party" that once again the GOP is going to lose not only the election but as it looks now- the senate too.

That's right: You conservatives spent and wasted almost 10 years trying to hold back the hands of time and the sea change happening in this country: traditional conservative ideology is soundly rejected by more and more Americans... yet the GOP insists on going down this same path.

So keep it up with these sad articles because all of it is for naught: 2008, 2012 and now 2016.

stonestone's picture
stone stone