Rules Committee Republicans Vote Against Republican Amendment to Fight Sexual Assault
WASHINGTON, DC — During a House Committee on Rules meeting late last night on the Republican bill to provide tax cuts for the wealthy, committee Republicans voted against making several amendments in order under their closed rule, including a Republican amendment to fight sexual assault. That amendment, from Republican committee member Congressman Ken Buck, would eliminate business expensing for legal settlements, fines, fees, and legal expenses associated with sexual assault and sexual harassment. Committee Republicans also voted against Democratic efforts to secure votes on the House Floor on amendments that would preserve deductions that the middle class relies in, including the state and local tax deduction, the student loan interest tax deduction, the school supply teacher deduction, and the medical expense deduction.
“In the dark of night, House Republicans passed another closed rule that blocked all amendments from both Democrats and Republicans. This rule waived every House rule for their tax bill, while Republicans also voted down efforts to include amendments to protect the middle class, homeowners, students, teachers, and caregivers. Republicans even voted against making a Republican amendment in order that would prohibit tax breaks for legal settlements involving sexual assault and harassment. It is a new low for Republican leaders in Congress,” said Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter (NY-25).
These efforts failed along party-lines, which will prevent votes on the House Floor that could have enabled their inclusion in the Republican tax bill being voted on in the House this week. With committee passage of the closed rule for this tax bill last night, House Republican leaders also broke their own record for closed rules, with this session of the 115th Congress the most closed session in history. There have now been 51 closed rules this year, which block all amendments.
Republican leaders have used restrictive rules to block more than 1400 amendments so far this year, including measures prohibiting funds for the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, protecting DACA recipients, restricting funding for President Trump’s border wall, strengthening maternity leave, and fighting climate change. These important policies deserve a debate on the House Floor, yet these issues are completely blocked from even being considered.