House minority

House Republicans dig out another procedural tool to pressure Democrats
GOP is planning to file discharge petitions on a late-term abortion bill and the Green New Deal

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is planning to file a discharge petition next week in an effort to force a vote on a bill to provide protections for newborns who survive abortions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans, boosted by some early procedural wins this Congress, are planning to try out another tool available to the minority to put pressure on Democrats — the discharge petition.

Discharge petitions can be filed by any member but are most commonly used by the minority party to highlight legislation the majority refuses to bring to the floor. If a discharge petition gets 218 signatures, the underlying measure can then be brought up for a vote over the objections of leadership.

Capitol Ink | Frosh Week

Minority Party Makes a Major Shift in House
Democrats have elevated their messaging, raised their voices on key issues

From left, Reps. Paul Tonko, James E. Clyburn, John Lewis, Joseph Crowley and Nancy Pelosi sing "We Shall Overcome" with demonstrators on the East Front of the Capitol after the House Democrats' sit-in ended Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

"Emboldened."   

That was how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the mood as her Democratic colleagues staged a sit-in  Wednesday on the House floor to call for a vote on gun control. Democrats left the chamber Thursday, nearly 26 hours later, still showing signs of that boldness.