A bill that reauthorized the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which was criticized on the right as unnecessary interference by the federal government in the free market, passed the House in violation of the so-called “Hastert Rule” Thursday.
The bill passed 297-117 overall. 106 Republicans voted “yea” while 116 Republicans voted “nay.” One Democrat, embattled Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), voted no as well, while 191 Democrats voted yes.
The Hastert Rule, the operating principle of former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, requires support from a “majority of the majority.”
Hastert has criticized Boehner for relying on Democratic votes on the House floor. “If you start to rely on the minority to get the majority of your votes, then all of the sudden you’re not running the shop anymore. I think that’s what it comes down to,” Hastert said in March 2013.
The language reauthorizing OPIC was part of a broader bill called the “Electrify Africa Act,” which ran into a buzz saw of opposition after Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney wrote in his column that “Republican leaders are trying quietly to reauthorize a corporate welfare agency this week.”
Sixty percent, or 104 members, of the Republicans Study Committee, the conservative caucus in the House, voted against the proposal. All but 12 of the Republican no votes were from members of the Republican study committee.