Norm at Bearing Drift writes: So there you have it, Virginia: there is no two-year state budget. And all because Senate Democrats want power.
Norm’s exactly right. It has nothing to do with doing the job the were elected to do.
They. Just. Want. Power.
Governor McDonnell issued the following statement:
Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Senate Democrats’ Unprecedented Party Line Rejection of Both Senate and House Budgets
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today following Senate Democrats’ unprecedented party line rejection of the House budget. This second consecutive party line rejection of the budget follows Senate Democrats’ prior party line rejection of their own budget, meaning there is now no budget legislation to even be considered in a conference committee. In every other previous Virginia budget impasse (2001, 2004 and 2006) the differences occurred during a budget conference committee between the House and Senate in an attempt to work out the different versions of the budget. Dating back to the beginning of the biennial budget system in 1920, to the best of our knowledge, the legislature has never failed to enact a two-year budget. With their partisan vote today based on seven-week-old complaints about committee assignments, Senate Democrats are preventing a budget conference to even consider policy differences between the two houses.
“Today, in a straight party line vote, Senate Democrats, attempting to send a partisan message, have rejected the House budget. The House budget passed its chamber with broad bipartisan support (79-21) and garnered unanimous approval from the bipartisan membership of the House Appropriations Committee. Today, that budget was voted down not on policy, but on politics. It was voted down without any debate or amendments. Senate Democrats took the same approach on their own chamber’s budget last week, voting it down in a strict party line action as well. Based on their two votes, Senate Democrats have now left the Commonwealth with no budget, acting much like Senate Democrats in Washington D.C. where there has been no budget for more than 1,000 days. They have put their committee seats ahead of our communities needs. This is unprecedented, and it is unacceptable. It is not the Virginia way.
For seven weeks I have repeatedly asked Senate Democrats publicly and privately for their input and ideas on the biennial budget. I have held numerous meetings with them. The response has been near silence. Instead, Senate Democrats have repeatedly made clear that their objections to the budget are not based on policy, but politics. They want more seats on committees and more power. They appear willing to jeopardize the timely payment of the salaries of our teachers and police officers, the services our senior citizens depend upon, the resources our universities need to operate, the budgets of local governments, the funding for our prisons and hospitals, and the entire state budget to gain more power. They have put political goals of 20 individuals ahead of the collective policy needs of 8 million Virginians.
There is a time and a place for politics, but the elections are now over. When we gather in session on Capitol Square, Virginians expect us to put politics aside and do what is right for the Commonwealth as a whole. Today, Senate Democrats owe an explanation to all Virginians as to why they are willing to risk an entire budget because of their own partisan desires. I hope Virginians will contact their Senators who have acted in this unprecedented nature and let them know: it is time for the politics to stop. It is time to get a budget done. The session is set to end in 10 days. We need responsible action now. I call upon my friends in the Senate Democratic Caucus to immediately produce a budget they will support.”
RPV Chairman Pat Mullins said:
“I honestly didn’t think the Senate Democrats would do something this irresponsible.
Democrats have decided that police officers, teachers, and other public employees won’t be paid unless they get their power back. They’ve decided that important safety nets like Medicaid will go without state funding unless they get their way.
Senators like Donald McEachin now suddenly talk about how the budget needs to change before they’ll support it, but the truth is Democrats were clear that they’d stonewall even before the budget was done.
And Donald McEachin hasn’t suggested any specific policy changes he’d like to see, that’s why he didn’t vote for a budget to go to committee where he could actually work on policy- he voted to kill it without consideration because for him this is just about partisan politics, his record this session proves it.
Governor McDonnell and Republicans in the Senate have asked Democrats repeatedly what it would take to get them to vote for the budget – and time and again, the only answer from McEachin and his team has been ‘committee seats.’
They’ve put their own personal grip on power above each an every one of their constituents. I call on Senate Democrats to put an end to this disgusting, childish temper tantrum before any more damage is done to the Commonwealth.”
Is your Senator on this list?
Go call them. Right. Now.
Sen. George Barker (804) 698-7539
Sen. Chuck Colgan (804) 698-7529
Sen. Creigh Deeds (804) 698-7525
Sen. Adam Ebbin (804) 698-7530
Sen. John Edwards (804) 698-7521
Sen. Barbara Favola (804) 698-7531
Sen. Mark Herring (804) 698-7533
Sen. Janet Howell (804) 698-7532
Sen. Mamie Locke (804) 698-7502
Sen. Louise Lucas (804) 698-7518
Sen. Dave Marsden (804) 698-7537
Sen. Henry Marsh (804) 698-7516
Sen. Don McEachin (804) 698-7509
Sen. John Miller (804) 698-7501
Sen. Ralph Northam (804) 698-7506
Sen. Chap Petersen (804) 698-7534
Sen. Phil Puckett (804) 698-7538
Sen. Toddy Puller (804) 698-7536
Sen. Dick Saslaw (804) 698-7535