House Dems Push ‘Discharge Petition’ to Force Vote, End Shutdown

House Democrats are exploring an alternative option for breaking the political stalemate and reopening the U.S. government. They have written each of the 30 House Republicans who have expressed support for a clean government funding bill, urging the GOP members to sign onto a “discharge petition.”

A “discharge petition” will force an up or down vote on a clean continuing resolution consistent with the funding levels already passed by the Senate and does not require any action by Republican leadership. A combination of all 200 House Democrats and at least 18 Republicans need to sign the petition to force a vote. If successful, the move could have the federal government up and running by early as next week.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger urged House members to sign the petition. “On behalf of the thousands of federal workers and contractors that we proudly represent, we strongly urge you to sign onto the ‘Discharge Petition’ (H. Res. 372) introduced by Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), George Miller (D-CA) and Nita Lowey (D-NY),” wrote Buffenbarger in a letter to Congress. “We believe this is the most viable solution to reopen the federal government.

“At least 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay,” continued Buffenbarger. “Over 70 percent of our 110,000 NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 membership are currently furloughed. We also have over 10,000 Service Contract Workers out on furlough and they will not receive any retroactive pay when the government reopens. Although we do not support the existing funding levels, it is in the best interest of our membership that we support the passage of a clean budget that ends this political stalemate and puts our members back to work.”

House members cannot file the petition until Saturday, October 12, seven legislative days from the introduction of the resolution. Over the last 30 years, 7 out of 7 “discharge petitions” have succeeded in bringing measures to the House floor for a vote.

IAM members in the key 30 districts with GOP House members who might support a clean budget bill should call their Representative at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to sign House Resolution 372 to get the federal government open again.

Below is a list of the 30 GOP members to call:

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Rep. Charles W. Dent (R-PA)
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR)
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY)
Rep. Richard L. Hanna (R-NY)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY)
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Rep. David G. Reichert (R-WA)
Rep. E. Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL)
Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ)
Rep. Michael K. Simpson (R-ID)
Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA)
Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-FL)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)