‘Martial law’ invoked as Congress scurries to avoid another government shutdown

A temporary government spending bill is expected to clear the House and Senate just before a midnight deadline on Wednesday, averting a government shutdown and providing funding until December 11. As a precaution, House lawmakers have invoked “martial law.”

The use of martial law fast-tracks a spending bill by bypassing typical procedures. One of those procedures is that the House of Representatives has to wait a day after the Rules Committee produces rules for a floor debate before a vote on the bill can occur, according to the Hill. By invoking martial law, House lawmakers can vote on the short-term government spending measure on the same day. read more

Historically

Congress has never declared martial law. However, at the outset of the Civil War, in July 1861, Congress ratified most of the martial law measures declared by President Abraham Lincoln. read more