House conservatives successfully derailed two bills that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to fast-track through the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday evening, a victory the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus told Breitbart News was “stunning.”
“That’s stunning,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the House Freedom Caucus chairman, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
Specifically, Pelosi had attempted to use a procedure called “suspension of the rules” — which requires a two-thirds supermajority of the House to succeed — to pass two highly controversial pieces of legislation. One, the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act, would have allowed for LGBTQ-owned businesses to get favoritism in lending in much the same way minority-owned businesses may. The other, called the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act, would have facilitated government-funded access to abortion drugs through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After an effort led by Biggs and other House conservatives like Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Chip Roy (R-TX) among others, the bills failed to achieve the two-thirds necessary to make it through the House and were stopped from passing the chamber for now.
“What the deal is on these suspension bills, they have to get two thirds to get them across the line,” Biggs told Breitbart News. “The significance of taking down the suspension votes is that the Democrats are trying to change all the rules and traditions of the House and force all of their agenda even if it’s not radical — but the radical parts and the non-radical parts — they’re trying to force it down our throats. Our position has always been that that is — it is that we have to fight on every issue. That’s why we ask for roll call votes on the suspension votes because we want transparency for the American public number one, and number two we want everybody to be recorded on how you vote, and number three we want to put the speed stick down. That’s what that’s been all about.”
According to the roll call of the votes on the House Clerk website, both votes failed. The LGBTQ bill failed after garnering 248 votes in favor with 177 opposed and five members not voting. The VA abortion bill failed by a wider margin, getting 240 votes in favor with 188 opposed and two members not voting.