Republicans Stall Out

Say that you lead a teeny, tiny caucus, less than a third of the House. Say you have some legislative priorities. However, the leadership of the opposing supermajority isn’t bringing any of your bills up for some reason, perhaps because there are only 37 of you.

The solution, then, is to try and work this out with the majority. Perhaps enlist some of the more friendly Democrats to support your causes. Hold negotiations with the Speaker and the governor, whom you have heard is actually a member of your party, and see if at least some of your priorities can at least be brought up for a vote.

Of course, if you’d rather just throw a fit and hold things up by yammering on endlessly, then you could do that, too.

House Republicans aren’t getting enough respect from majority Democrats and have launched a slowdown campaign during debates that will continue until the GOP gets some of its bills debated.
[…]
“Unless and until there is a greater level of cooperation, then we need to slow this process down,” Cafero said, adding that the languishing budget negotiations are another subject entirely from the flow of bills that will die at midnight June 3.
 
“I have instructed my caucus that if they have questions on bills, they should ask those questions and be fully apprised of what they’re voting on,” Cafero said. (Dixon)

These questions, by the way, are often incredibly detailed and repetitive, and can make debates over even seemingly minor bills last for hours.

What Frippery is This!

Ironically, GOP state chair Chris Healy sent out a poorly-edited message to supporters today condemning Democrats for daring to debate the death penalty while the people’s urgent business was left undone.

“It is comforting to know that the Senate Democrats think it is more important to take hardened violent criminals off death row that [sic] deal with fiscal issues which affect everyone’s lives,” said Healy. “The Democratic priorities are right from the pages of Alice in Wonderland.”

Healy went on to scold Speaker Chris Donovan for forcing his own caucus “to support his grand design to take over the entire health care system in the state at an undetermined cost to businesses and individuals,” which may or may not be a reference to a health care pooling bill that would allow towns and nonprofits to join the state employee health insurance plan, or maybe the SustiNet bill, which, far from imposing some sort of socialized Frenchified sissy medicine on all of us, just creates a task force that will make some sort of recommendations about health care by 2011. The goal of the task force is to create a public option for those seeking health coverage.

Really, now. Bashing the Democrats for daring to waste time on the health care bill and the death penalty while Republicans in the House stall even minor bills by droning on endlessly, in an attempt to bring their own destined-for-failure bills up for a vote?

Republicans really need to get it together. After all, there was this reindeer importing bill just sitting out there, waiting to be mocked.

Wait, Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen) introduced that? Oh. Uh. Never mind.

Two weeks to go until the end of the session.

Source
Dixon, Ken. “House Republicans stall to make a point.” Connecticut Post 21 May, 2009.

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24 responses to “Republicans Stall Out

  1. Hey – three of the reindeer died last year. They needed new ones. What’s Christmas without Rudolph’s pals?

    Sen. Roraback has my respect.

  2. Clickety_Clak

    Seriously, GC? I have to say that that was one of the most half-baked posts you’ve written and you are usually pretty balanced. There are 37 Republicans and 114 Democrats in the House. The Democrats control EVERYTHING in the legislature by overwhelming majorities. And we’re not talking about moderate Dems anymore—we’re talking about a liberal supermajority with ultra-lefty leadership. So now they are powerless? Just to remind people–this is not the U.S. Senate. There is no true filibuster, there is no call for cloture. The Democrats can ‘call the question’ on a bill at anytime. Will they be trampling the minority? Sure. But they can nevertheless do it.

    And as far as I know, the only reason this is being discussed is what happened last night when Republicans in the House fought long and hard against the Donovan/Williams universal healthcare proposals that have the potential to cost the state millions. And knowing that the Governor will likely veto them anyways, it seems like it was a monumental waste of time to even bring them out. The Speaker and Senate Prez shoudl have negotiated with the Governor, but it appears they didn’t. The Republicans in the House represent nearly one million people in this state and they deserve to get a certain level of respect that has yet to be accorded by the supermajority.

    Kudos to Cafero and Company. The less this legislature does, the less they screw the state up.

  3. pintofguinnessdraft

    GC I guess you believe the 37 house Rs who represent about 1 million people should roll over and let the majority party have everything they want without nary a whimper, b/c u agree with their proposals. These proposals do have legit policy implications that need debate.

    Yet GC I hear no outcry from you on the Supermajority refusing to move on the budget, did you like their proposal? Evidently they dont because even with supermajorities they refuse to debate it in either the House or the Senate.

  4. I agree with Clickety, I think GC’s posts have taken a more partisan bent in recent weeks.

    The solution, then, is to try and work this out with the majority. Perhaps enlist some of the more friendly Democrats to support your causes. Hold negotiations with the Speaker and the governor, whom you have heard is actually a member of your party, and see if at least some of your priorities can at least be brought up for a vote.

    Has this strategy yielded much success in the past? Both Rell and the majority party have a history of ignoring and/or undercutting the legislative Republicans. Besides, this gets the GOP more attention and draws distinct battle lines. It’s not like the supermajority would really listen to or credit the Republicans anyway.

    It seems to me, GC, you also leave out an important quote from the article that explains the slowdown:

    “In proportion to our numbers in the chamber, we don’t have a lot of bills, but we have a few, and we discussed them with the majority,” Cafero said in an interview. “To date none of our bills have been honored.” Cafero said the 114-member Democratic caucus has a duty to be fair to the Republicans, who represent about a million state residents.

    So it seems the Dems might just be running over the minority party.

    All that said, why should Republicans try and compromise? Rowland – Rell and the supermajority have spent and borrowed us into the mess we’re in today. As Dean Pagani has pointed out numerous times, even if the state’s economy didn’t weaken significantly we’d still be in a deep fiscal hole because of the explosion in state spending. Republicans should be doing everything possible to dramatically change Hartford and restore some semblance of fiscal responsibility. If that includes stall tactics to get their ideas to the forefront of the debate then so be it. The last thing CT needs are more taxes and faux budget cuts and leaders who are content to kick the can down the road.

    On a somewhat related note, John Dankosky did a great interview with the head of the CBIA, John Rathgeber, on the state of business in CT.

  5. Doesn’t talking to press about the strategy kind of diminish the effectiveness of the strategy? It seems like a great strategy as long as the R’s give people (who don’t watch CTN and nerd out on blogs like this 24/7) the impression that you’re honestly debating the issues at hand and it’s the D’s who are dragging their feet. Instead, they go straight to the press to discuss their feet dragging strategy in an attempt to make the public think the other side is dragging their feet?

    I also don’t understand why the R’s here would like to see more time wasted debating a budget that is (by her own admission) going to get a veto if it came to her. If efficiency is what Healy and his crowd want then why not suggest that the Gov sit down at the table and start negotiating a deal?

  6. Captain America

    That’s bull..

    So you are telling me that Republicans should just lie down and let the dems ram whatever crappy bills that they want without so much as a peep? We have seen the democrats, time after time this session, abusing their power and numbers. If they aren’t going to govern responsibly then I’m glad Cafero and the Republicans are willing to slow things down and make sure we are all aware of what is going on in Hartford.

    Let’s not forget Republicans aren’t the ones keeping us from having a budget, even if they kept quiet it is up to the legislative democrats to call a budget.

    Then again, Donovan and co. have been passing blame all session so why should this be any different?

  7. How about a “Democrats Stall Out” post? From Brian Lockhart’s blog:

    At a press conference today House Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden, confirmed that after spending almost three months combing through $1.6 billion in unallocated accounts – money the Dems pledged back in March could be used to help whittle down the deficit – only $110 million has been identified…

    When reporters kept pressing the issue, Donovan turned it around and said he was glad the Democrats were able to come up with the $110 million.

    “I’m a little more of a ‘glass half full’ guy,” he said.

    But c’mon. Back in February legislative leaders visited the capitol press corps flush with excitement from “discovering” that $1.6 billion.

    And even when Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s budget staff reviewed the accounts and said there was not $220 million just ripe for the taking, the Dems dismissed the comments as partisan and uncooperative.

  8. then I’m glad Cafero and the Republicans are willing to slow things down and make sure we are all aware of what is going on in Hartford.

    But that’s not why it’s being slowed down. By their own admission this is a political stunt. They admit in the article that if a few more of their reindeer bills got called they’d be happy to move right along at a reasonable pace. Why they openly admit that in the press is confusing, but nevertheless.

  9. The oldest principle in politics is also the easiest to understand: When you have the votes, vote. When you don’t, talk.

    The fun thing is, it works both ways.

    No, the GOP doesn’t have the votes to beat Speaker Union Label.

    But Pornstachio, in the Senate, doesn’t have the votes to pass the Dems’ tax-massive budget. So he (and here on CLP, his little mouthpiece, Slappy) spends his days talking about the governor instead of his own sad lack of sack.

    In the end, it’s all the same: A sad and ineffectual effort to promote some special interest over the best interests of the Rest of Us.

    And that, THAT, is why the legislature will forever remain the prostituted, lame and sleazy operation the people of this state perceive it to be.

  10. Of COURSE the $220 million isn’t there … It never was! But it beat the hell out of cutting spending for Democrat special interests!

  11. pintofguinnessdraft

    RedFive isnt the democratic legislature required by law to submit those cuts. so they are breaking the law….

  12. Ironically, GOP state chair Chris Healy sent out a poorly-edited message to supporters today condemning Democrats for daring to debate the death penalty while the people’s urgent business was left undone.

    At least we hear from Healy.

    The last anyone heard from his counterpart was how mean and unfair *he* (Healy) is.
    If that’s all the leader of the majority party can come up with in fund raising letter, I’d say they’re in serious trouble.

    Indeed, she can’t point to any accomplishments from her party’s overwhelming majority as there have been none……and none on the horizon.

  13. I write about what annoys me. This annoys me. Sorry if that’s partisan, I don’t feel it is.

  14. Speaking of simple rules of politics: Chair don’t do policy, they work on winning elections.

    Indeed, she can’t point to any accomplishments from her party’s overwhelming majority as there have been none……and none on the horizon.

    Are the R’s at net losses in CT elections or net gains under Healy’s tenure?
    Are the D’s at net losses in CT elections or net gains under whatsherfaces tenure?

  15. GC: THIS is what annoys you? The fact that — for the first time in modern history, let alone memory, the legislature may adjourn without voting on ANY budget — that doesn’t annoy you?

    You don’t feel a need to ask why the Dummycrats, who voted out a budget from approps and finance, can’t muster the sack to actually vote on it … That’s not an issue?

    But the fact that — in the face of MEANINGLESS votes on pooling bills and slavery apologies and reindeer imports — our “lawmakers” can’t find the guts needed to address the biggest fiscal crisis in state history … that’s taken as Business as Usual.

    Sad.

  16. GC: THIS is what annoys you? The fact that — for the first time in modern history, let alone memory, the legislature may adjourn without voting on ANY budget — that doesn’t annoy you?

    http://ctlocalpolitics.net/2009/05/21/budget-going-nowhere-slowly/

  17. Point taken.

    Still, you will admit that the Democrats — for whatever reason — are getting away with it.

    You can understand that maybe we think that’s wrong.

  18. Clickety_Clak

    GC–I understand your point but disagree with the manner in which you choose to make it. But hey, it’s your blog and that’s America. However, to paint the picture that the GOP is filibustering every little piddly bill that comes before the House is bunk. The issue of single-payer (i.e. the taxpayers) healthcare is a line-in-the-sand issue between Rs and Ds, and the House GOP did what they could to make the supermajority earn it…as they should. As far as I can tell there haven’t been any ‘filibusters’ on meaningless bills (ex. “reindeer”?!). But there have been barn burners on death penalty, national popular vote, and yes–government-run healthcare.

    You know what annoys me? The fact that the nincompoops who run the House and Senate (read: Democrats) have chosen NOT to mitigate the current year’s deficit, streamline and reorganize state government, pass a budget early (as promised), or even let their own steaming turd of a budget come up for a vote in the chambers they control with iron fists. No. Instead they insist on wasting the taxpayers dime to debate their leftwingnut agenda to eliminate the death penalty, strip the Governor’s constitutional authority to fill Senate vacancies, eliminate the Electoral College, and put government in the healthcare business. THAT’S WHAT ANNOYS ME.

    Wake up, people of Connecticut! This isn’t the ‘hope and change’ we asked for!

  19. Are the R’s at net losses in CT elections or net gains under Healy’s tenure?Are the D’s at net losses in CT elections or net gains under whatsherfaces tenure?

    Compare 2008 to 1984 and take a look at who took the bigger bath.

    The state party’s primary job is to create and maintain a suitable infrastructure so as to service their constituent town committees and state candidates.

  20. Joe Sixpack

    Wow – I just woke up and flip around the channels – and what the heck is the Senate still doing in on CTN? Still going on death penalty eleven hours later??????

    . As far as I can tell there haven’t been any ‘filibusters’ on meaningless bills (ex. “reindeer”?!). But there have been barn burners on death penalty, national popular vote, and yes–government-run healthcare.

    No offense, but if five hours in the House is a “barn burner” on the death penalty, what is that plus six hours from the twelve member Senate R’s? Wow – there are chunks of the house in the Senate’s stool……

  21. So, I guess Republicans should remain completely silent while super majority Democrats run this state into the ground so that Democrats and their followers can like us too.

  22. The last anyone heard from his counterpart was how mean and unfair *he* (Healy) is.
    If that’s all the leader of the majority party can come up with in fund raising letter, I’d say they’re in serious trouble.

    Mua ha ha!

    If it weren’t for the annual Jefferson Jackson Stalin dinner every year I wouldn’t even know there was a Democratic Central Committee.

  23. I write about what annoys me. This annoys me. Sorry if that’s partisan, I don’t feel it is.

    Me too! Hell, that’s my main motivation.

    You make it sound like there’s something important that the Republicans are obstructing. What is it that we are being asked to expect that Republicans are holding up here?

    More critical debate on bills that allow you to take a dump in a Banana Republic employee bathroom if you have colitis? Perhaps more critical legislation on “conscientious objection” allowing school children not to dissect frogs? Or is it another groundbreaking bill on blower ball that may serve as a national template in the future?

    The only thing of significance this year that is being obstructed is the budget. And that falls squarely on the Democratic majority.

    We’ve seen their “plan.” And they are afraid to pass it.

  24. Clickety_Clak

    Hey Sixer, maybe it’s time to step-up to the 12 pack. You’re right, the Senate Republicans really did a nice job on the debate last night–seriously, ten hours is quite a feat. Unfortunately, for all the talking they couldn’t convince one member of their caucus—and the DECIDING vote in favor of the bill—to join with the rest of their caucus. If he had, it would have been 18-18 and the Lt. Governor would have broken the tie and killed the bill. Perhaps less time talking on CT-N at 3AM and more time marshaling votes in the caucus room would be advised.

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