Home Virginia Politics Virginia Senate Republicans Stack Key Committees Despite Narrow, 21-19 Overall Majority

Virginia Senate Republicans Stack Key Committees Despite Narrow, 21-19 Overall Majority


As we’ve seen, in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republicans maintained 12-10 majorities on all committees (other than Rules, where they stacked it 11-6; and 10-8 on Courts of Justice) despite having only a super-slim, 51-49 overall majority. They also made sure to put senior members on key committees while putting freshman Dems on less powerful ones.  So that’s the House of Delegates; what about the State Senate, where Republicans also have a narrow majority (21-19)? Let’s check it out.

*The crucial Senate Rules Committee is stacked with Republicans (12-3!) — McDougle (Chairman), Norment, Hanger, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, Obenshain, Vogel, Stuart, Stanley, Carrico, Reeves, Saslaw, Locke, Howell

*The powerful Senate Commerce and Labor is also stacked with Republicans (11-4) Wagner (Chairman), Saslaw, Norment, Newman, Obenshain, Stuart, Stanley, Cosgrove, Chafin, Dance, Lucas, McDougle, Black, Sturtevant, Spruill

*Senate Finance is stacked with Republicans (11-5) as well — Norment (Co-Chair), Hanger (Co-Chair), Howell, Saslaw, Lucas, Newman, Ruff, Wagner, McDougle, Vogel, Carrico, Obenshain, Barker, Dunnavant, Stuart, Dance

*Senate Courts of Justice is 9-6 Republicans — Obenshain (Chairman), Saslaw, Norment, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, McDougle, Stuart, Stanley, Reeves, Chafin, Deeds, Sturtevant, Petersen, Peake

*Senate Privileges and Elections is 8-6 Republicans — Vogel (Chairman), Howell, Deeds, Edwards, Reeves, Ebbin, Chafin, DeSteph, Chase, Ruff, Cosgrove, Dance, Spruill, Peake

Also note that on the most powerful committees, the top four listed above, there are two names that keep appearing – Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, aka “Tweedle Dee” and “Tweedle Dum,” aka “two peas in [Dominion’s] pod.” LOL – funny how that works!

  • Harry

    When we take both houses in 2019 Day need to remember how they were treated. Pack every R into 12 districts and let them squeal like stuck pigs.

    • Paul Goode

      They’ll sue. Make book on it.

  • David Pratt

    I’m with Harry, when we capture the majority, we’re going to do the same damn thing. They had their chance to be fair. Republican politicians are craven opportunists and when they are in the minority they expect Democrats to play by different rules. We’re going to say, “payback is a bitch.”

  • RobertColgan

    These Republicans’ sense of “fair play” simply reflects their inherent lack of morality and empathy.
    To them, regardless a diminutive plurality, it’s “To The Victors Belong The Spoils” . . .
    which means basically they’re not really any different than Vandals, Visigoths, Vikings, Huns, Ottomans, Mongols, etc etc

  • Esther Ferington

    So has this been the case for the past two years (since they are midway through a four-year term), or is this a brand-new arrangement? At first I thought it was something new, but after I re-read your post, it doesn’t sound like that.

    • Good question; at first I thought these were new for 2018, but it’s possible they’re all the same as they were last year. Need to double check, but regardless, the point stands about Republicans stacking these committees despite a 21-19 overall majority. Thanks.

      • Morris Meyer

        Would be interesting to go back a few years and chronicle the committee balance under Democratic and Republican control.

  • James McCarthy

    Many of the state’s right-leaning newspapers have been carrying editorials about power sharing between the parties. IMHO this appeal is in anticipation of 2018 and beyond for mercy to the GOP. Given voter suppression efforts and gerrymandering by the GOP in the state and elsewhere from what well can mercy be drawn? The radical right along with its Kochian ideologies needs to be minimized and rehabilitated.