U.S. Rep. John Larson: Senate Rule 22 is the ‘Catch-22′ paralyzing our republic

Originally posted by the Hartford Courant –

In 1961, author Joseph Heller introduced “Catch-22″ into the American lexicon. That term referred to a fictional rule requiring repetitive behavior that leads to nowhere. In 2022, we are enduring the same absurdist nightmare visited upon the country by Senate Rule 22, which has single-handedly paralyzed our nation by grinding the U.S. Congress to a halt. Unlike Catch-22, Senate Rule 22 is not fictional, and the resulting dysfunction has become a reality.

How is it, in the past 16 months, the House of Representatives has passed more than 400 bills, 70% of which have been bipartisan-sponsored, and the Senate has yet to vote on any of them?

Democrats control the House, Senate and the presidency, yet bills to protect voting rights, enact gun safety, and safeguard women’s reproductive rights have passed the House of Representatives but never received a vote in the Senate chamber.

Once revered as the world’s greatest deliberative body, the Senate is now the most debilitating threat to our Democratic Republic. How so? Forty-one senators determine what bills the Senate will take up through Rule 22, the cloture vote.