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Florida Republican willing to buck leadership to bring tax relief bill to House floor with help of Democrats

By Kristin Wilson, CNN

(CNN) — Florida GOP Rep. Greg Steube says he’s willing to buck his own leadership and bring a tax relief bill to the House floor – with the help of House Democrats – if Speaker Mike Johnson won’t.

If it happens, it would mark a rare moment in the House and another first for the 118th Congress. With a razor-thin majority, Johnson has faced intense pushback from conservative hardliners and there have been multiple instances of major legislation – such as government funding bills – passing with the support of a bipartisan coalition. The support Steube has gotten from Democrats for the move is also the latest example of how bipartisanship has emerged even in the midst of a highly polarized political environment.

“As the tax package now appears to be stuck in the Senate, and House leadership has been unwilling to bring my bipartisan disaster tax relief legislation up as a standalone bill, I filed a discharge petition to bring this bill to the floor for a long-past due vote,” Steube said in a statement to CNN.

In late April, Steube initiated a rare procedural move – and filed his petition to discharge his bill – that would provide tax relief for people affected by federal disasters, including Hurricane Ian and residents affected by an Ohio train derailment.

With the help of 190 Democrats signing on to the petition, it hit the critical 218 threshold that allows Steube to bring it directly to the floor for a vote.

“I am grateful for the motivation and support of 217 of my bipartisan colleagues as we join forces to deliver tax relief for Americans all across the country. In the 30 years of public discharge petitions, this petition is only the third to succeed. That’s a testament to how important this issue is for ALL of our constituents. Floridians have waited since 2022 to receive tax relief from Hurricane Ian, and many other Americans have waited just as long for relief from other disasters. I look forward to swift passage of my legislation on the House floor and urge expeditious consideration in the Senate,” he said.

With the petition hitting the threshold, notice will be printed in the congressional record and added to the House calendar.

Steube will be required to wait an additional seven legislative days following that, and then can opt to call up a vote on his bill in a floor statement.

Speaker Johnson will then have up to two legislative days to bring the bill to the floor.

A spokesman from Steube’s office said the congressman will call up his petition if leadership does not act before then. If the bill comes to the floor via the discharge petition, it will mark the third time since 2000 – and the 12th time since 1967 – that a discharge petition was successfully executed.

CNN has reached out to Speaker Johnson’s office for comment.

House leadership only has a finite amount of time in which to bring bills up for consideration and there are always more bills than there is floor time, so it’s not uncommon for members to press for their priorities to get consideration only to find that there isn’t always enough time in the calendar. It’s extremely uncommon, however, for members to succeed in bringing a bill to the floor via a discharge petition.

Steube expects that once his bill hits the floor for a vote – whether via the discharge petition or through leadership action – it will pass with wide bipartisan support.

“We were going to get to 218 signatures one way or another, and I expect close to unanimous support from the entire House when the vote occurs,” he said.

CNN’s Haley Talbot contributed to this report.

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