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How the GOP Could Break an Unwritten Rule and Pass Immigration Reform

Published: Mar 1, 2013 8:00 am By: JORDAN FABIAN

"House Republican leaders eschewed a long-held principle when they held a vote on the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday. Only 87 out of 232 House Republicans backed that bill, but they still chose to bring it to a vote.

That decision made all the difference. The bill passed thanks to near-unanimous support from House Democrats and backing from some Republicans.

By allowing the bill to come to a vote, Republicans broke the "Hastert Rule" -- named after former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). The basic idea: don't let something come to a vote unless a majority of the party supports it.

If the unofficial Hastert rule is no longer a precedent for House Republicans, that could have a implications for other controversial, bigger pieces of legislation this year, such as immigration reform."

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