On the night of Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2013, Republicans changed the rules of the US House of Representatives so that only the Majority Leader can call up for a floor vote a resolution returned to the House after Senate amendment, like the Senate amendment “cleaning” House Joint Resolution 59 (the resolution to continue funding government operations) of its Obamacare-defunding provisions.
Under this late-night amendment of House rules, only Majority Leader Eric Cantor can end the government shutdown! Prior to the eve of the current shutdown, when the rule change was pushed through, any House member could move to bring such a disagreement between the Senate and House versions to a vote.
Recently, Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen disclosed this clever maneuver on the House floor, suggesting at the end of his remarks that democracy had been suspended.
You may watch Rep. van Hollen’s video here.