House Republicans Find Another Tool to Pressure Democratic Colleagues

House Republicans, boosted by some early procedural wins this Congress, are planning to try out another tool available to the minority to put pressure on Democrats — the discharge petition.

Discharge petitions can be filed by any member but are most commonly used by the minority party to highlight legislation the majority refuses to bring to the floor. If a discharge petition gets 218 signatures, the underlying measure can then be brought up for a vote over the objections of leadership.

Republicans already have plans to file two discharge petitions, one on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by Missouri GOP Rep. Ann Wagner, and one on the Green New Deal resolution, sponsored by New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Discharge petitions are rarely successful because majority members worry about crossing their leadership in signing them. And unlike a vote, it’s not a binary decision; members could simply ignore the petition.

Read more at Roll Call.

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