Could the House of Representatives be disbanded for refusing to perform their duties?

Please, PLEASE don’t respond with one-sided political rhetoric.

Both political parties in this current crisis bear some of the responsibility for the deadlock.

In any case, I’ve seen the argument that the House of Representatives, as a body, does not have to vote to spend any money. They can allow the country to shut down, or to let this republic fall into ruin because no decisions have been made at all. They have the power, apparently, to shut it all down, and the only check on this power is that they can be voted out of office. However, the next election is over a year away, so if I understand things correctly, if the deadlock stands then it could theoretically last for a year.

Frankly, if the House of Representatives, as a whole, refuses to even make a decision on what to spend money on, could they be removed from office for failing to perform their duties?

If, hypothetically, the President refused to make any decisions because “not now, I’m too busy debating with myself”, and refused to authorize the U.S. military to respond to invading troops (or authorize anything, at all), he could be removed for failure to do this duties, right?

And if the Supreme Court justices decided that they would just go play golf for a year and not review any cases, the same argument ought to apply.

Anyways, it occurred to me that the only solution I can see to this deadlock if it was likely to continue to the point of the United States government completely failing would be to disband the House.

The “fair” solution might be to send all members of the House of Representatives home, with the state governments ordered to produce replacements within 5 days or something. (in most states, the governors would appoint replacement members). What makes this solution fair is that it doesn’t penalize members of any particular political party.

Without a solution like this, there seems to be no reason a pure deadlock can’t arise, where the House passes a bill funding the government that contains some unacceptable provision that the President feels he must veto. This can continue forever, so long as the House has between 50%+1 to 66% support for this strategy, right?

The line item veto would have fixed this problem, but it was shot down by the Supreme Court.

Could they? Only if two-thirds of them agreed to it.

And before you point out that the President bears 50% of the responsibility in this deadlock scenario, that is debatable. There is nothing stopping Congress from writing up a spending bill that calls for “all other federal laws to be repealed, and the office of the President is to be located at Alcatraz Prison” as one of the elements in the bill. The President can’t sign that, as it would be an unconscionable dereliction of his duties.

However, of course, the opposite scenario is possible. If Congress sends to President a bill that says “business as usual with minor tweaks”, and he vetoes it and will continue to do so unless “I get a Bill that authorizes the invasion of the Moon”, then Congress should impeach the President and remove him.

Err, I meant the other 2 branches would work together to remove the failed branch. In this case, the president would write up an executive order stating that they were to be arrested and sent to their home states by <some federal agency>, and a letter to the state governors asking for replacements.

The Supreme court would have to declare this executive order legal.

The same would be what would happen if Congress declared the President to be derelict, again, it would be two branches vs. the failed branch of government.

I am not saying the current scenario quite reaches the point of “dereliction”, since the shutdown is half symbolic, since the essential agencies continue to function. However, since there is no check on this deadlock continuing other than the 2014 elections, and a year long government shutdown does reach the point of dereliction of duties.

Are you under the impression that the House didn’t vote (several times) and pass a CR (Continuing Resolution)?

Do you think US is some kind of silly tinpot dictatorship where such things are possible?

I don’t see any difference between “we’re going to make stupid and short-sighted financial decisions forever” and the actions of a tin-pot dictatorship.

Look, unless there is a war or a Great Depression level economic crisis, only an incompetent moron would run a government at a deficit. This means that whether you cut spending, raise taxes, or both, you don’t pass a spending bill that isn’t balanced. It’s not the fault of either party, really - the Democrats want to spend more money than we take in on butter*, the Republicans want it spent on guns&, but collectively it results in more money spent than taken in. This is tin-pot level thinking.

*social welfare, scientific research, education
& military, favorable treatment for certain industries, infrastructure for Red states.

It contained unconscionable provisions repealing a significant (new) part of Federal law. This should have been placed in a separate bill. Again, there is nothing stopping the House from passing a CR renaming the country or doing some other destructive thing.

I suppose you could argue that the House feels it is unconscionable to *not *include language repealing legislation they previously passed bundled into legislation authorizing the government to continue business, and of course the President feels the opposite. No matter how you slice it, it’s a deadlock that is destructive to the nation.

You claimed “House of Representatives, as a whole, refuses to even make a decision on what to spend money on”. That’s factually incorrect. It made that decision, several times. You not liking those decisions does not negate the fact that they were made.

It bolted the decision to a measure they knew would be vetoed. This is factually, if not technically, the exact same thing.

There may not be a line item veto, but if the executive branch communicates that “I will veto any measure containing X” and the legislative branch says “I will refuse to pass any legislation authorizing the government to continue unless X is bundled in”, someone is to blame for the deadlock.

Since the President has stated “I will sign legislation lacking unacceptable provisions bundled in”, it seems that from a factual and even legal perspective, in this particular case the House is more to blame for this situation. (since it could cause the government to continue by passing a bill with the sections it knows the President will sign)

The opposite is of course possible. If the President says “I will refuse to sign any legislation that does not include <ridiculous demand Y>, and there is a government shutdown, then in this scenario, the President is more to blame”.

I would blame the one that vetoes. YMMV.

The President is one “power” out of three (or four, if in this case you want to separate Senate from House). If he decides something is “unacceptable” he may veto it, but then he has to accept the responsibility for the veto. You think he should be able to veto and escape any blame for the results of the veto at the same time.

Yes, I understood what you meant. My point is that the answer is no, outside of a coup d’etat.

If the legislators are replaced immediately, it wouldn’t be a coup. The President would not make any of the decisions that are in the purview of the legislators, and since the states choose the replacements, he would not be replacing Congress with cronies.

More than likely, the D:R ratio would be about the same, however, the new politicians would probably be more respectful of their job duties.

I gave an example you didn’t read. I said if the House put a spending bill that said “all legislation and all federal laws are now void” as one of the provisions, as well as the usual funding, then there is no way the President can sign that law under any possible circumstance. He would be remiss in his duties. All hell would break loose (because if all laws are repealed, funding the federal agencies would be moot since they would have no power to do anything)

I would argue that “the planned fixes for healthcare are void for at least a year*” is not much less of an unconscionable provision.

It’s not just that “postponing” the ACA would be difficult to do. The real problem is that Obama, as a politician, cannot back down under any circumstances. The ACA is going to occupy, for good or for bad, about 1/3 of the text in any history book about his term. It’s his legacy. The point is that in this scenario, it’s a term that Congress knows he won’t ever back down on, and so they are being negligent in their duties by bundling it into the paper needed to continue ongoing operations.
*that we have spent billions of dollars working on and the entire insurance industry has already recalculated all their policies and changed all their rules

TL;DR: No.

I don’t know how serious the OP is but the answer is pretty obvious - there is no legal way to disband the House of Representatives. The Constitution says that there will be a legislative branch and it will consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. And it defines how those Representatives will be chosen so you can’t get around it by appointed some substitute body.

Except that’s not what the House voted on.

What did it vote on?

Maybe not even then. It’s never been clearly established that members of Congress can be impeached.

They can be expelled by two thirds of their own house, though. I don’t think anything explicitly says they can’t expel themselves.