BLOG: House Republicans Responsible For Budget Impasse

By: Jeff Sheridan, Press Secretary

December 11, 2015

It is December 11th, more than 5 months after the deadline for passing a budget, and the House Republicans, controlled by extreme right-wing members that kowtow to special interests, continue to block a bipartisan, responsible budget from passing. After the actions of several tea party members of the caucus, led by Speaker Turzai, it is now clear that this impasse is on the House Republicans.

“Would the adults in the room please stand up? Not so fast, House Republicans. With an end to Pennsylvania’s six-month-old spending plan stalemate in sight, GOP lawmakers who control the lower chamber just threw a serious wrench into the works and made a New Year’s Eve budget debate a real possibility.” [PennLive, 12/8/15]

In June, House Republicans passed a budget that left us with a $2.3 billion deficit and underfunded education. They did the same again this week, blowing up months of negotiations and a bipartisan agreement on a budget.

“To oversimplify, there are two groups in the state capital – the politicians who believe in government and those who do not. So far, the “Do Not’s” have been in control of the process. Most are clustered in the Republican party… There aren’t many of these Do Not’s in leadership (an exception is House Speaker Mike Turzai, who is King of the Do Not’s), but as rank-and-file members they have power and influence beyond their numbers… The Do Not’s can’t get anything done, but that’s not really their agenda. They will settle for paralysis. And they have achieved that goal. [Daily News, 12/11/15]

The governor is committed to the budget that Senate and House Republicans stood with him to announce well over a month ago that includes historic education funding. It is time to finish a budget that is balanced and paid for with revenue that begins to address our chronic deficit.

The very people holding up this budget, House Republicans, took today off, many of them traveling to New York City, for the glitz and glamour of PA Society weekend. This is unconscionable.

That the House Republicans saw fit to take today off after blowing up the 5-party budget agreement for the second time is disgraceful. Right now, House Republicans are controlled by the tea party and special interests that want to protect that status quo that has resulted in underfunded schools and caused 5 downgrades. They are the biggest impediment to passing a budget.

“The entire Republican caucus needs to do some soul-searching and ask themselves whose interests they are actually representing by continuing to stonewall… It’s time for House Republicans to get their act together and make a deal.” [Inquirer, 12/11/15]

The House Republicans should come back to the Capitol now and pass the budget agreed to by their leaders.

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