See below for video from this morning’s Virginia House of Delegates session, during which Minority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert (Far-Right Republican) criticized House Democrats for not moving fast enough on their liberal agenda, apparently. LOL Seriously, though, the gist of Gilbert’s concern-troll criticism was that the “institution” supposedly isn’t functioning well enough – and specifically, that legislation isn’t passing quickly enough. Which is unintentionally hilarious, of course, given that Gilbert and most of his caucus vehemently opposes just about everything Democrats want to pass, and certainly wouldn’t want it to pass *faster*!
Gilbert also claimed that “morale is very bad in Legislative Services,” as evidenced by staff there being stressed out by the number of bills filed, and also by a veteran senior attorney (Franklin Munyan, who apparently has been wanting to retire for some time now) quitting yesterday. Of course, the workload has increased from when Republicans were in charge, because Democrats are putting in a bunch of great legislation to make up for the many years of lost time when Republicans were in charge. Also, note that Democrats actually want to get positive stuff done and also that there are a huge number of things that NEED to get done, so *of course* there’s a lot of work to do! And finally, just as anyone who’s ever learned a new language, or any new skill, knows – at first there’s a learning curve, which means that things get smoother over time and through practice. In this case, House Democrats hadn’t been in charge for ages, and there are many new faces, so that rule certainly applies. Give it a few weeks, then let’s see how things are going…
By the way, just to put things in perspective, it turns out that in the first week of 2020 (with Democrats in charge), there have been 1,581 bills referred to committee (an important step in moving bills along), compared to just 1,165 bills referred in 2019 (with Republicans in charge) – a 36% increase under Democrats. Horrible, huh? In fact – no, not horrible at all!
Also, check out how many bills Todd Gilbert has “patron’ed” this year – that’s right, ZERO (not counting a “celebrating the life of” resolution). So…yep, this guy complains about Democrats not getting enough of their “liberal agenda” (as he would likely call it) through quickly enough, but himself hasn’t introduced any legislation to speak of. But he certainly has time to criticize, to opine on the floor and on social media, and to whine, basically, about not being in charge anymore. What a (bad) joke.
With that, here’s video – as well as highlights – of House Democrats firing back at Gilbert after he finished spewing his nonsense. As you can see, Majority Leader Herring and Appropriations Committee Chair Torian really, really didn’t appreciate (for good reason) Gilbert’s insulting comments…and they let him know, loudly and clearly. Good job!
Majority Leader Charniele Herring: Gilbert is “trying to build a record of our side of the aisle not being prepared…while we were passing one of the most important pieces of legislation…there have been 40% more bills filed in this House than ever before, so take that into consideration…so yes, the staff at LIS has more workload, and I know Madame Speaker that you are addressing that…If [Gilbert] really wants to help us out, I ask that you do so in a professional manner instead of taking it to this floor to try to build a proverbial record.”
Del. Sam Rasoul: The legislature used to be “made up of many plantation owners, and January/February was the time when we could come and do all the work of the people of the Commonwealth in a short period of time, but of course our Commonwealth has grown and over time the demands have grown, but the time frame has largely stayed the same…I wanted to say thank you to members of our staff…who have done so much to get us going as we’ve had this…once-in-a-generation transition.”
Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn: “We have the most amazing and hard-working, conscientious professionals, the Clerk’s staff and the DLS, and we’re fortunate to have them and we truly appreciate them.”
Del. Luke Torian: “I generally keep my seat, but as I was back in the lounge, in the break room, I heard the Minority Leader mention that we canceled an Appropriations meeting for today. And I heard him mention how staff works and I know that members of the Appropriations Committee upstairs on the 13th floor probably heard his comments; people who are streaming these proceedings have heard his comments. So I want to make it perfectly clear that the work is being done on the 13th floor. And I want to make it perfectly clear when a meeting is required we will have a meeting. And I want to make it perfectly clear that the 13th floor and its staff, we will have a budget for the Commonwealth. So make no mistake, the work is being done. We have an honorable committee of Appropriations that’s doing the work. So please, don’t single us out as though we’re lazy and we’re not doing our work. We are doing our job for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”