This type of rhetoric (see audio, below) is, to put it mildly, irresponsible by VA House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R), and would also be reckless if Gov. Glenn Youngkin follows through. It also would be politically moronic.
“I think at the end of the today, we will prevail. You know we’ve got two shots at it. If we don’t prevail with the Senate, you know Glenn Youngkin’s got a shot at it. You know, he could veto the whole budget. You know, that’s not been done in a while, but could happen…I mean, it shows he’s playing hardball, it shows that he’s got a say himself. I mean, I think everyone needs to know that, that he would do that if it came right down to it, to get more of his tax cuts, more of his agenda in the budget. I think both sides see that he could do that, and I think are wary and cognizant of that fact moving forward.”
Of course, most likely Kilgore is just venting steam on right-wing talk radio, bluffing about something he knows isn’t likely to happen. On the other hand, given today’s extreme and irresponsible Trump(ist) Republican Party, you never really know what they’ll do if they don’t get their way on tax cuts for the wealthiest Virginians, harming public education, etc.
In this case, would Youngkin really risk the damage from a government shutdown, potential harm to Virginia’s AAA bond rating and reputation for responsible fiscal management, etc. – in the midst of a global crisis (caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) no less – in order to try to get his way on unpopular policy items? Keep in mind that, according to the recent Wason Center poll, “A majority of Virginia voters prefer spending the state budget surplus on underfunded government services, such as education, public safety and social services (59%), rather than providing tax cuts or tax rebates (38%).” And, of course, Youngkin himself isn’t particularly popular, except among his right-wing base. Overall, threatening to veto the budget seems pretty stupid, in addition to being irresponsible, but again, you never know with today’s Trump(ist) Republican Party.
P.S. As far as I’m aware, no Virginia governor has ever vetoed the entire budget (not counting line-item vetoes on specific items). Maybe because it’s completely irresponsible to do so, or even threaten to do so?