Gerlach and Meehan Won’t Support Discharge Petition; Fitzpatrick Won’t Say

Fitzpatrick Meehan

Rep. Fitzpatrick, left, hasn’t given his position on the discharge petition. Rep. Meehan won’t sign it.

The three Republican Congressmen who represent Philadelphia’s suburbs all say they support a ‘clean’ continuing resolution (CR) to reopen the federal government. But none of them seem ready to join Democrats to force the issue on the House floor.

“This discharge petition is more of the same hyper-partisanship that got us into this situation in the first place, and does not represent a serious attempt to govern responsibly,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester).

If a majority of House members sign a discharge petition, they can compel House Speaker John Boehner to call a vote on a bill that would end the government shutdown.

Unlike other GOP-supported bills, the clean CR would include no language to defend or delay the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It funds the entire government rather than the ad hoc bills the House has passed in recent days.

But it is highly unusual for House members to sign a discharge petition in defiance of party leadership. No Republican has thus far signed onto it.

Reps. Gerlach and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) said they won’t support the move. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

“Rep. Meehan will not support a discharge petition. To my knowledge, not a single House Republican has indicated any interest in being part of a discharge petition,” said spokesman John Elizandro.

“We need to do better than sign a petition that’s going nowhere, we need to reach an agreement with Democrats and Republicans to reopen the government. That’s what Rep. Meehan is working to do.”

A discharge petition is also no sure bet. Even if it was successful, under House rules the vote would not occur until October 28. That’s 11 days after another crucial deadline when the country is projected to reach the federal debt ceiling. Many observers say a discharge petition could threaten any potential for a debt ceiling deal.

there are additional procedural barriers that Speaker Boehner could use to delay a discharge vote.

Republicans have criticized the discharge move as a public relations effort to undercut Boehner. They criticize Senate Democrats for refusing to consider a handful of House-passed billed to fund certain government programs in a piecemeal fashion.

“Last week, I said that I would support a clean continuing resolution if one came to the floor. That still stands, and I remain focused on working with my House colleagues on a bipartisan solution to get the federal government re-opened,” Gerlach continued.

Gerlach and Meehan said the would still vote for a clean CR despite the fact that Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) withdrew his support on Tuesday.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) has taken a high-profile role in the shutdown debate and would vote for a clean CR, but has similarly ruled out signing a discharge petition.

October 9th, 2013 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 6 Comments

6 thoughts on “Gerlach and Meehan Won’t Support Discharge Petition; Fitzpatrick Won’t Say”

  1. politigator says:

    “Observer” is another D without the facts as usual. Maybe everyone should go back to 7th grade civics class. There are two houses in the legislative branch and the House Republicans have sent bill after bill to the Senate to get something accomplished and they continue to try to fund the government under the shutdown even now with no movement on the Senate side. Americans want the shutdown to end. The Republicans have tried but now it is time to take another tact which is what most constituents in the SE want according polls. The answer for these Congressman is not the lamo D move of a discharge petition, which they didn’t even bother to find out the rules about before the tried it. Obama Care is going to continue to implode so let’s get some concessions from the President on the debt ceiliing and go after Obama Care another way. Is it really that hard to grasp why Congressman Gerlach, Meehan and the others are looking for practical ways to solve this problem?? Please God let there be some people in this country that believe in moderate elected officials, because radicals on both sides have lead us to where we are now and see how well that is working out. And oh by the way “Observer” Congressman Gerlach lives it Chester County, which was, the last time a checked right in the middle of 6th District!!!

  2. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    This past Friday, @ 5:15 p.m., I spoke with Ms. Katie Wise in Mike Fitzpatrick’s D.C. Office and confirmed he would NOT sign a Discharge Petition.

    This information was shared during a meeting held the following-a.m., @ which time today’s Doylestown event was planned and a Press Release was issued.


    The following was generated yesterday after another conjoint meeting of all groups comprising the TEA [Taxed Enough Already] Party Movement in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District.
    P R E S S R E L E A S E
    October 5, 2013

    We urge Congressman Fitzpatrick do everything possible to support funding the government without voting for a Continuing Resolution that funds ObamaCare.

    Jaime Faucette
    President, Citizens for Constitutional Government
    Republican Committeewoman, Sellersville 1

    Anastasia Przybylski
    Co-Founder, Kitchen Table Patriots
    Coordinator [Pennsylvania], FreedomWorks
    Republican Committeewoman, Doylestown 3-2

    Linda Rosen
    912 Patriot of Lower Bucks

    Rob and Lil Boysen
    Coordinators [Lower Bucks], Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots
    215-547-6136 [Rob & Lil Home], 267-278-0827 [Rob’s Cell], 267-278-1656 [Lil’s Cell]

    Bill Harper
    Co-coordinator [Lower Bucks], Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots

    Jim Devlin
    Coordinator [Harleysville/Souderton], Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots
    Republican Committeeman, Lower Salford

    Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.
    Republican Committeeman Abington 7-2

  3. PerryM says:

    Why don’t the GOP and Rep. Meehan, who wants to work out a solution, ask Speaker Boehner to just put the Senate measure voted on by both parties in the Senate up for a clean up or down vote in the House? If is fails, so be it. If it passes, that’s democracy, too.

  4. They need Reese Witherspoon working on this. 🙂

  5. Observer says:

    Gerlach just turned a purple district Royal Blue. People don’t like Liars who talk out of both sides of the mouths. You are either bi-partisan or you’re not Jimmy. Time to pack up and head home – which we all know is OUTSIDE his heavily gerrymandered district.

  6. JDF says:

    Typical GOP hypocrisy. It is very easy to say you support something if you have no plans to make it happen. This is cowardice and it is damaging to this country.

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