Tempers flared yesterday between Virginia House and Senate Republicans on their dysfunction regarding Virginia’s budget, Medicaid expansion, etc. In this case, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R), who clearly has his feelings hurt, ripped the GOP-led House of Delegates and its leader, Speaker Kirk Cox (R), for being irresponsible, inconsiderate, dysfunctional, sending out “trashy” “fake news,” etc. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, THIS is Republican “governance” at its finest. The answer? Vote Democratic, up and down the ballot!
By the way, while some of what Norment said is true – for instance, that the majority of House Republicans DO oppose Medicaid expansion and that Speaker Cox is not in the majority of his fellow Republicans on that one – he also might have wanted to mention that at least one of his own Republicans (Emmett Hanger) appears ready to vote for Medicaid expansion, with other possible defections as well. So Norment might want to focus on his own caucus, not worry about what’s going on “down the hall.” I’d also note that we have elections for all 40 Virginia State Senators next year, and it’s quite likely Norment will no longer be Majority Leader after they are concluded. Maybe he should just spare us all the trouble and resign NOW, instead of later? LOL
Oh, I also loved Norment mocking Cox and House Republicans for losing 15 seats last November, for failing to adjust to that “cultural realization” and for their intra-party “divisiveness” and even “chaos.” Norment basically stated that Cox should resign, because he is not in sync with where the majority of his caucus wants to go regarding Medicaid expansion and their budget. This is great stuff – more popcorn please! 🙂
P.S. See below for House Speaker Cox’s press release, the one that set off Tommy Norment into “irritation,” “modest annoyance” or whatever he called it.
P.P.S. Needless to say, Senate Democrats should be fighting for what they believe in as much as House Democrats do. No Stockholm Syndrome, please…and certainly not “leadership” from the likes of Dick Saslaw (D? – Dominion).
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox issued the following statement Friday on HJR 576 applying to the Governor for a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on a two-year state budget.
“The House of Delegates will adjourn sine die as scheduled on Saturday, but without an agreement on a new two-year state budget. The House of Delegates passed a resolution Friday applying to Governor Ralph Northam to convene a Special Session of the General Assembly to continue work on the budget.
“We are all committed to completing work on a state budget long before July 1, but after a lengthy and tiring session the best step is for everyone to return home as we assess our next steps.
“The two budgets differ dramatically on healthcare. The House budget includes a plan to work with the Trump administration to guarantee conservative reforms as part of any plan to expand Medicaid to low-income Virginians with no cost to state taxpayers. The Senate budget includes a plan to expand the current Medicaid program at a cost of $440 million with no funding to pay for it.
“As I said three weeks ago, I remain concerned about the long-term fiscal implications of Medicaid expansion, but with a closely-divided House, Senator Hanger’s clear commitment to expanding Medicaid, and the Governor’s plan to send straightforward Medicaid expansion back to the legislature, I continue to believe our best option is to craft a plan that guarantees conservative reforms as part of any agreement on healthcare.
“I recognize some disagree with this approach. Taking a few weeks away from Richmond will give us the opportunity to begin a fresh discussion on the next steps.”