I was very glad to see this as the subject of today's newsletter from the RPV. The more heat the better for this disgusting lack of regard for the rules of the Senate. As I have said many times, If these "lawmakers" won't even follow their own rules, how in the world can they expect us to follow the "rules" they make for the rest of us to follow?
Of course it's more than a little disappointing that the Special "DeathStar" subcommittee didn't get this kind of attention last year.
Being a Senator isn't easy. Sometimes it means casting difficult votes, and then explaining those votes to your constituents... unless you decided to break the rules, like a group of Senate Democrats did on Tuesday evening.
Faced with the prospect of casting difficult votes which make them choose between their hard-core liberal base and the overwhelming majority of Virginians, Democrats of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee voted en masse to break the rules of the Senate.
Under Senate rules, sub-committees may not kill a bill - they can only recommend that action to the entire committee.
Yet when asked by Republicans to consider legislation like the Repeal Amendment, which would let 2/3rds of states overrule Congressional action, or bills that would protect Virginia's Right to Work laws, Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, ruled the motion out of order, as seen in this video.
When pressed for an explanation of why the motion was out of order, the Democrat had nothing to offer.
From The Washington Post:
"Upon what basis does the chair rule the motion to add the bill to the agenda out of order?" Obenshain asked Howell not long before the committee's vote.
"I believe it's out of order," Howell responded after a pause.
"I don't know what the problem is in voting on a simple motion to add a bill to an agenda," said Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg. "The majority were unable to articulate any basis whatsoever for ruling that motion out of order. The chair, with great respect and deference, has abandoned the the traditions and the rules of this body."
"Senators will be counted on votes," added Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Mechanicsville, speaking at an impromptu press conference after the votes. "That's what the people sent them here to do. Whether they agree with the issue or not, we have legitimate debate. Senators should vote on bills."
Virginia Democrats: Committed to the Rule of Law... Unless it makes them cast uncomfortable votes.