No one was shocked when time ran out on the 105-day legislative session with no budget deal in sight. Lawmakers are now in overtime, but House Democrats and Senate Republicans are not yet negotiating.
Senate Republicans scored a major symbolic victory on Friday, with time expiring on the regular session, to prove that House Democrats’ major tax increase proposals have no chance of passing – even Democratic senators voted no.
Friday’s move by Senate Republicans made conservatives chuckle but incensed Democrats. Tired of House Democrats passing big spending bills without bothering to find the money to pay for them, Senate R’s called their bluff.
It surprised people to see Republicans, who have a 25-24 majority in the Senate (with the help of dissident Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon), bringing up tax bills they oppose for a vote. But it all had a purpose.
The tax bills they introduced are identical, word-for-word, to House Democrats’ own capital gains income tax and B&O tax hike proposals. The point was to show that the House’s big tax bills don’t even have the support of their fellow legislative Democrats. The gambit worked: Both bills lost on 48-0 votes.
Sen. Dino Rossi (R-Sammamish) told 770 KTTH he hopes the tax votes will help the two sides start negotiating over realistic proposals sooner. “If we bring this to the floor and demonstrate to the world that those votes aren’t there, then maybe we can get that nonsense [massive tax increases] off the table and really get down to some negotiations,” he said.
Democrats dismissed the tax votes as “a stunt.” Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) told Austin Jenkins, “The idea that we would just vote on some random tax package for the sake of taxes is ludicrous.” But it wasn’t “some random tax package,” it was House Democrats’ own tax bills. The 48-0 votes made a point, even if Democrats hoped it merely showed they wouldn’t participate.
Rossi didn’t see it as a stunt at all. “It’s just being straight forward and honest about it. Can we do this or not? Is it politically possible or not?” he said. “Well, the answer, we know, is not, but we have to prove it to the world.”
Will Democrats accept the obvious: That their own tax hike proposals have no chance of passing the Legislature? The sooner they admit the truth, the sooner lawmakers can start negotiating over proposals that could actually pass – and get out of town.
The picture atop this post is of Gov. Inslee, who is not a member of the legislature, and had no say in whether or not Senate Republicans would carry out their tedious, time-wasting stunt. Perhaps he’s pictured asking them to do some actual work for the good of our state, instead of the cheap, tiresome grandstanding they insisted upon doing instead?
Nah, it’s more likely Shift just can’t stop attacking Inslee, no matter how risibly ineffectual such attacks were shown to be by our recent election results.
Tensor. Ineffective would be a very appropriate description of Inslee. Inept would work too. If that so called “stunt” was grandstanding, I’m applauding for something the republican finally did, that would be on page one of the Democrats “Stunt” Book were the sides changed. Democrats hate the “stunt” because it worked absolutely perfect.
“Ineffective would be a very appropriate description of Inslee. Inept would work too.”
All of which is utterly irrelevant to how Republicans wasted our time with this cheap ploy. (I’m beginning to see why you fell for their grandstanding stunt.)
“…I’m applauding for something the republican finally did,”
Holding an unnecessary vote which will not pass is the very opposite of actually doing anything useful.
“…that would be on page one of the Democrats “Stunt” Book were the sides changed.”
Again, irrelevant. (Also obviously false, because the Democrats do, in fact, control the other House, and they did not waste our time on such a stunt.)
(Had the Senate Republicans actually created a budget *before* holding the tax votes, then this would have been actual governance, and we could fault the Democrats for voting against the taxes required to pay for that actual budget. But that would be math, which is hard, and so the Republicans simply refused to do that part of their job.)
Sorry No namer Tensor. The Republicans kicked the Democrats ass on this one. The Republicans proved their point. Democrats were complete cowards by not even wanting to vote on their own massive spending increase. Your illogic is so tired and worn out Tensor.
Cecile Charles says
Hiding behind an empty picture to voice your opinions is seriously hilarious.
Hiding behind a picture of the American flag to voice your opinions is seriously the mark of a scoundrel.
Cecile Charles says
I painted that so kiss my tutu. Not hiding at all https://theheartofamerican.wixsite.com/thoa-n1 , but hey keep your delusions.
Cecile Charles says
I painted that you silly wiggling worm. I’m so offended I’m enjoying a glass of wine and showing your comment to a room filled with laughter over your so intelligent infused comment.
Cecile Charles says
I painted that picture you silly goat.
That wasn’t a stunt Sen. Kevin Ranker. That was a mission to find out facts. The republicans were pretty sure the Democrats wouldn’t hang their whole rears out in front of their massive tax and waste increase, but just had to prove that point. Mission accomplished. A 13% increase in spending just wasn’t enough for the Democrats. No increase is enough for them.
“That was a mission to find out facts.”
And the fact found was that a budget should be written before the taxes to pay for it are levied. Too bad our Senate’s Republican leadership simply did not know that basic fact about governing. Now that they have indeed found that fact, will they actually write a budget?
How do you prepare the budget without knowing what you have to spend? That is how a teenager prepares a budget. A budget includes both revenue and expenses. The Democrats don’t want to tackle the income they need first, because they want to use their budget to support their massive new taxes.
The Republicans, already have a budget written that meets McCleary.