Late on the night of Sept. 30, with the federal government just hours away from shutting down, House Republicans quietly made a small change to the House rules that blocked a potential avenue for ending the shutdown.
It went largely unnoticed at the time. But with the shutdown more than a week old and House Democrats searching for any legislative wiggle room to end it, the move looms large in retrospect in the minds of the minority party.
"What people don't know is that they rigged the rules of the House to keep the government shut down," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told TPM in an interview. "This is a blatant effort to make sure that the Senate bill did not come up for a vote."
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