News: Press Releases

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced that he signed on to a petition to reopen the government. This special congressional procedure, known as a discharge petition, allows a majority of members to bypass Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and force an up or down vote on a bill to reopen the government. The federal government has been closed since October 1, 2013, and Republican leaders have repeatedly refused requests from Democrats and some Republicans to pass a funding resolution without controversial items and reopen the federal government. After signing on to the discharge petition, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:

“With no end in sight to this government shutdown that is harming citizens across the country, I joined with my colleagues to sign onto the discharge petition that will allow a vote on a bill to immediately reopen the government,” said Conyers.

“This shutdown is hurting my constituents in Michigan and threatening our economic recovery. I urge my Republican colleagues to come together in the spirit of bipartisanship to end this crisis by signing onto the discharge petition.”

The government shutdown has hurt the middle class and our economy, and will get worse as it continues. Costing taxpayers up to $300 million a day, it has stopped critical loans to small businesses and slowed the processing of veterans disability claims. The shutdown has prevented NIH from taking new patients and halted life-saving medical research and stalled much-needed housing loans for American families.

The discharge petition for H. Res. 372 would allow an up or down vote on a clean continuing resolution, providing funding through November 15 at a compromise level requested by Speaker Boehner. This discharge petition only needs a majority of House members to sign on and does not require any action by the Republican leadership.

Discharge petitions have been proven successful in the past in bringing up legislation for consideration.

• According to a Congressional Research Service study, seven discharge petitions have received 218 signatures over the last 30 years. And in all seven cases, the majority party agreed to bring the measure to the House floor.

• 12 measures were allowed to be brought to the House floor even before the discharge petition reached the full 218 signatures.

You can see which Members of Congress have signed onto the discharge petition in real time by visiting the House Clerk’s office here:

http://clerk.house.gov/113/lrc/pd/petitions/DisPet0005.xml