Would Boehner Break the ‘Hastert Rule’ for Syria?

Posted September 3, 2013 at 2:01pm

With Speaker John A. Boehner announcing Tuesday that he supports intervention in Syria, there is one question the Ohio Republican has yet to answer: Would he bring the Syria resolution up for a vote if it didn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans?

The short answer: Yes.

Boehner has never said he would abide by the rule in all circumstances, and this seems to be an instance where Boehner would bring Syria to a vote regardless of where his conference stands.

A House GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday: “Given the Constitutional requirements, and the fact that so many of our members have asked for a vote, I can’t imagine it would be an issue.”

It’s far from clear, even with strong backing from Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that a majority of Republicans will be on board, potentially violating the uncodified “Hastert rule” requiring a majority of the majority.

While many in Congress are happy to have the opportunity to weigh in on Syria, far fewer have signaled support for the resolution.