By all accounts, there are enough House
But House rules give the majority a way to take this decision out of Speaker
For example, Rep.
Other pending bills suggest other approaches. There is no need for us to choose among them to make the key point. If a majority signs a discharge petition for a strong initiative, it would push the House into a posture that would enable serious negotiations with the Senate to begin.
Once 218 members sign a discharge petition, a single signatory can move for the bill's immediate consideration on the floor of the House. This motion is specially privileged. The full House must vote on it at once, and if it passes, resolutions related to it must be considered immediately and cannot be pushed off the floor by further parliamentary maneuvers. The rules explicitly require that it must remain the business of the House "until it is disposed of."
There is no need to wait until Oct. 14 for the majority to take action. Democrats and Republicans should declare right now that they will sign a discharge petition when the moment comes. As the number of announced signatories rises, the position of the House leadership will become increasingly precarious. Even if a clean CR or a raised debt-ceiling means the Republican leadership alienates its right wing, it will suffer more from a humiliating defeat by moderate Republicans making an end run around the speaker and breaking his strangle-hold over House proceedings. The discharge petition threat alone might suffice to break the current logjam well before Oct. 14.
There are fundamental issues at stake. Since the founding of the nation, Americans have looked to the people's House as a special place for the realization of democratic values. The discharge petition is a fundamental mechanism for sustaining this claim. In using it as a tool to break the undemocratic effort by the Republican leadership to muzzle the majority, a bipartisan House coalition would not only be acting within its legal authority, it would be redeeming a basic principle of American government.