A discharge petition is a petition maintained by the Clerk of the House of Representatives which, when signed by a majority of House members, can discharge a committee from the further consideration of the object of the petition. (English: It’s a way to force the bill out of committee and onto the House floor so that it can be debated and voted on.) It requires 218 signatures – no more, no less, regardless of resignations or deaths, because the rule requires enough member signatures to constitute a true majority of the House.
As you may know, House Democrats filed a discharge petition on H.R. 15, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, yesterday. It is being referred to as the Walz petition because it was filed by Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.). Read more »