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Collage of pictures of John Boehner crying.
We can end this Republican shutdown without Speaker Boehner

It’s Week 2 of the Republican shutdown, with no end in sight.

Why? Because Speaker John Boehner won’t cross Tea Party extremists, by allowing a clean funding resolution to make it for a vote on the House floor. A resolution that—despite Boehner’s phony bluster on Sunday—has the votes to pass, and would finally re-open the federal government.

On Friday, House Democratic leaders announced plans to file a "discharge petition" forcing a clean funding bill to the House floor, with or without Speaker Boehner. All we need are 18 House Republicans to join all 200 Democrats, and we can end this destructive tyranny of the minority.

Upon hearing the news, Daily Kos and Democracy for America sprang into action. More than 169,000 people have signed our petition to House Republicans in 72 hours, demanding that they sign a discharge petition to end this government shutdown. Join me below the fold to read more on our strategy, and what’s at stake here.

Our goal is to gather more than 200,000 signatures, and then we will start delivering these to targeted House Republicans.

Just like filibuster reform in the U.S. Senate, a "discharge petition" in the House is about fighting the tyranny of a right-wing minority that can obstruct the will of the people and make elections irrelevant through obscure parliamentary moves.

Seventy percent of Americans disapprove of how the Republicans have shut down the federal government. If it wasn’t for gerrymandered districts, Nancy Pelosi would be Speaker today. The only thing that’s keeping the government shut down is a loud and obnoxious right wing that has taken John Boehner hostage. This is the Tea Party’s last line of defense.

As the Washington Post reported on Friday, 24 House Republicans have either explicitly said they would vote to pass a clean funding bill if it came to the floor or are leaning in that direction.

An additional nine House Republicans represent districts that picked Obama over Mitt Romney last November, and whose constituents oppose this shutdown—giving us 33 possible targets, probably more. All we need are 18 to cross Speaker Boehner and sign a discharge petition.

So far, House Republicans want it both ways. New York’s Peter King claims that a discharge petition "isn’t going anywhere," while he says he supports a clean funding bill. Meanwhile he offers no solution whatsoever on how to accomplish that.

California’s Devin Nunes, who earlier derided the Ted Cruz strategy as "suicide lemmings," now says he’s voting with the GOP leadership—with no coherent explanation.

These House members have the power to stop the shutdown, but until they sign the discharge petition, they are part of the problem and they deserve just as much blame as the Tea Party.

We all know what’s at stake here. Cancer patients are not getting treated, Head Start classes are turning away kids and Capitol police are working without pay.

Just 18 House Republicans can change course, buck a tyranny of the minority and end this destructive shutdown. Will you add your name to put pressure on them?

Originally posted to Paul Hogarth on Mon Oct 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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