The video – which has racked up close to 2 million views sine being uploaded to YouTube over the weekend – depicts Van Hollen engaging in a parliamentary inquiry with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
The two men discussed why Democrats were not allowed to bring up a Senate amendment that would provide the funding needed to reopen the government.
On October 1, House Republicans passed resolution, H. Res. 368 – altering the rules to make such an amendment nearly impossible.
“The Rules Committee under the rules of the House changed the standing rules of the House of the to take away the right of any member to move to vote to open the government and gave that right exclusively to the Rep leader, is that right?” asked Van Hollen.
“The House adopted that resolution,” Chaffetz replied.
Van Hollen then presses the point, asking, “Why were the rules rigged to keep the government shut down?”
A rule change of this magnitude during a feverish political battle is almost unheard of.
In the end, Chaffetz denies Van Hollen’s attempt to force a vote on the Senate measure, saying, “The gentleman will suspend,” which basically means, “We’re done talking about this.”
Van Hollen retorts with, “Well, Mr. Speaker, democracy’s been suspended.”
Check out the video below.