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Sen. McEachin: When GOP Was in Charge, They Reminded Us That “elections have consequences”


From the Virginia Democratic Senate Caucus:



Democrats Reorganize Senate, Senator Saslaw becomes Majority Leader 

RICHMOND, VA – Earlier today, Senate Democrats reorganized the Virginia Senate, assuming the same majority status Republicans claimed in 2012. Following the elections of Senator Lynwood Lewis (D – Accomack) and Senator Jennifer Wexton (D – Loudoun), twenty of the forty senators are Democrats. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam provided the tie-breaking vote for re-organization after the Senate deadlocked at 20-20.

In 2012 with the Senate tied 20-20, Senate Republicans, over the objections of Democrats, reorganized the Senate with then Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling casting the tie-breaking vote. Senate Democrats, now in the exact same position as the Republicans were, have altered the Senate rules and committees just as the Republicans did two years ago.

In a floor speech at the time, Democratic Senator Donald McEachin (D – Henrico) asked Republicans to come to a power sharing agreement, warning, “This is historic. If you decide to go down this path, there is no going back. There is no going back. We will be at 20-20 sometime in the future, and perhaps there'll be a Democratic Lieutenant Governor, and perhaps the shoe will be on the other foot.”

Republicans dismissed that argument, refused power sharing, and called on Democrats to accept the decision. At the time, Senator Tommy Norment (R – James City) said, “I take umbrage at even the civil suggestions that if we go forward in this direction, there is no stepping back. I hope that is not a euphemism that there's going to be persistent tensions and obstructions as we try to undertake the orderly business of the citizens of Virginia.”

Today, Democrats called on Republicans to accept the same logic they employed two years ago.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D – Fairfax) said, “The voters have made it clear. They have had three consecutive elections in which they could have given Republicans indisputable control of this chamber, but every time they chose to elect a Democrat. We now have the majority, and we have a responsibility to use that majority to get to work on the issues that voters care about.”

Democratic Caucus Chair A. Donald McEachin said, “When Republicans took control of the Senate, we asked for power sharing. At that time, we were reminded that elections have consequences. Now that we have control, we will be fair to our colleagues, but we will use our majority to work on the issues for which the voters spoke.” 

  • @rachelweinerwp tweets: “Saslaw on whether House GOP will retaliate: ‘Don’t they have some bills coming over here?'”

    ‏@chelyendavis tweets, “Saslaw: ‘I think that we certainly have been every bit as fair to the Republican as they were to us’ in 2012 power fight when also 20-20”

    ‏@dsherfinski tweets, “Sen. @DickSaslaw says he doesn’t think he complained ‘one iota’ on the Senate floor two years ago: ‘Welcome to partisan politics.'”

    @VanniHashimoto tweets, “‘Substantial is like pornography.’ – @DickSaslaw”

  • @dsherfinski tweets, “‘My affection for the senator from James City County knows no bounds, but…’ – @Donald_McEachin

    @chelyendavis tweets, “Over and over, @Donald_McEachin says these changes part of ‘continuing evolutionary change that was foreordained in 2012′”

    @RTDSchapiro tweets, “In debate over D-pushed cmte shuffle in #Va Senate, McEachin tells Norment it’s about making for a ‘more modern Senate.'”

    @chelyendavis tweets, “McEachin arguing that #vasenate is a new body and shouldn’t be bound by past rules.”