WAMU 88.5 : News

Video Showing Maryland Rep. Van Hollen Calling Out House Leadership Goes Viral

Democrats in the region, spearheaded by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), are laying blame for the government shutdown at the feet of Virginia Republican Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader.

Most people on Capitol Hill don't even understand the arcane rules governing Congress. But an impassioned parliamentarian inquiry by Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen has now been clicked on by nearly two million people on YouTube. He says a rule change is what's keeping the government's lights off.

"So I just want to understand Mr. Speaker, this standing rule of the House has been altered by the House? Is that what the Speaker is saying?" asked Van Hollen in front of the cameras.

What House Republicans altered is a rule that historically allows any lawmaker to bring Senate-passed legislation to the floor. Now it states that on the bill to fund the government, only Majority Leader Cantor or his designee can bring that bill up.

Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) says Cantor is putting politics over the commonwealth's economy.

"His state is the hardest hit, yet he's the only one that holds the power to open the government right now," Moran says.

Cantor's office says the rules change is to prevent minority Democrats from "hijacking" the process, while Democrats maintain they have enough support to reopen the government if Republicans would only let them bring up the Senate bill.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
WAMU 88.5

Why Local Nonprofits Haven't Fixed Poverty

As long as there has been poverty, there have been people trying to end it. We explore the obstacles and inefficiencies local nonprofits run into when trying to solve society's stubborn problem.

WAMU 88.5

Can We Trust Our Cars?

There were more airbag recalls this week, and VW has agreed to pay nearly fifteen billion in its emissions cheating scandal. Meanwhile, cars with driverless technology are becoming available, but whether they will make us safer is up for debate. A look at auto safety and consumer trust.

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