House GOP Unexpectedly Fails To Pass First Major Bill In New Congress

Something surprising happened in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon: the chamber, with a large Republican majority, failed to pass a GOP-backed jobs regulation and reform bill.

The bill was expected to pass handily but since it was being treated as a “suspension” Democrats were able to defeat it.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) quickly released a statement hailing the unexpected victory and highlighted aspects of the legislation that would have undercut parts of Dodd-Frank and the Volcker rule in particular.

“I’m proud House Democrats stood together today to protect critical Wall Street reforms,” Ellison said in a statement. “Families are only now starting to recover from the devastating financial crisis. Congress must strengthen and fully enforce the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.”

The surprising defeat is reminiscent of a surprise rejection of a farm bill House Republicans brought to a vote June 2013 even though they controlled the chamber.

Other Democrats said the entire skirmish showed the level of Wall Street’s infestation in Congress.

“Bringing this bill to the floor just two days into a new session of Congress is more evidence of the stranglehold that Wall Street has on Washington,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) said. “Do we represent all Americans or just the wealthy and well-connected who would benefit from this legislation?”

This post has been updated.

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