The latest breakdown of the fiscal cliff negotiations illustrates the problems created by another unwritten constitutional rule--no bill may be brought to the House floor unless it is supported by a majority of the majority party. It is possible that a budget measure could pass the House with the support of most Democrats and some Republicans, but that is not an option for the Speaker. The practice of requiring a majority of the House majority operates as a minority veto that is even more lopsided than the Senate filibuster, since it means that (typically) less than a third of the House can block action.
What is the source of this venerable tradition? The answer is that Dennis Hastert came up with this about ten years ago. [emphasis added]Balkinization
Majority of a Majority
Gerard N. Magliocca