Earlier today, the Democrats held a joint press conference where they did their best to denounce the House and Senate Republicans. Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Donald McEachin stated, "Republicans are so focused on divisive policies that they are hindering our efforts at progress, putting our kids' education at risk, and leaving them less prepared for the future. In the last four weeks, Senate and House Republicans have introduced hundreds of bills that target the poor, women, and immigrants, make it harder to vote, and discriminate against gays and lesbians. It's time for Republicans to put divisive ideology and raw partisanship aside."
They provided a list of "divisive" Republican bills that have been introduced and/or voted on. Of these bills, all that have passed either the House or Senate have had at least one Democratic vote.
The House and Senate Republicans are not being divisive and will not be swayed by weak Democratic arguments about the focus of the Republican agenda. Republicans remain focused on the economy and jobs, education, government reform, transportation, public safety and mental health.
Earlier today, the Republican Majority Caucus Chairman Hugo and McDougle painted a clearer picture about the 2012 General Assembly Session (below).
Republican Majority Caucus Chairmen Hugo and McDougle give Progress Report on 2012 General Assembly Session
RICHMOND, VA –– House Republican Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R – Fairfax) and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R – Hanover) today recounted the progress of the positive reform agenda being advanced by the Republican majorities in House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia. Their comments followed a press conference held by the Democratic Caucuses of the House and Senate, at which the minority caucuses promised to “discuss the divisive legislation that has recently passed both chambers of the General Assembly.”
“Contrary to the assertions of our colleagues in the minority, Republicans working here at the Capitol have developed, passed, and now look forward to implementing legislation that addresses the issues Virginians care about: jobs, education, transportation, and government reform,” declared Delegate Hugo. “While our Democrat colleagues remain singularly focused on a small number of social issues, we are enacting the reforms necessary to move Virginia forward.”
McDougle and Hugo both pointed to significant bills that have already been approved by the House and Senate, including incentives for expanding existing businesses, economic development grants for agricultural and forestry businesses, charter school enhancements, and the most sweeping government reorganization plan in recent history. In the first four weeks of session, the Senate has passed over 300 bills while the House has passed over 380. Only a handful of the bills approved were included on the list of bills legislative Democrats characterized as “divisive” at their media event.
“The irony of the Democratic mantra is that the bills they cite appear to have created the most division within the Senate Democratic Caucus,” Senator McDougle remarked. “Democrats cite thirteen Senate bills that are still active, of which eight have received support from members of the Democrat Caucus.”
“The Democrats continue to focus on a handful of bills that have received extensive debate in order to divert attention from the extreme legislation sponsored by their members. After members of their caucuses introduced legislation to study the sale of marijuana in ABC stores, to impose a tax on plastic bags, to abolish the Court of Appeals, to reinstate the Death Tax, and to allow convicted drug offenders to receive government benefits, it is little wonder want to divert attention.”
“Fewer than 3% of the bills passed so far in the House are what the Democrats are calling ‘divisive’,” noted Delegate Hugo. “The disparity between their talking points and the facts suggests they are at best wildly unaware of the legislation before them this session and at worst intentionally misleading Virginia’s citizens.”