Close this search box.

Muth Speech Goes Viral

State Sen. Katie Muth’s (D-Montgomery) speech on the Senate floor last Wednesday about general assistance funding immediately captured headlines within the state. Nearly one week later, the video has reached millions of people through social media and sparked praise from progressive leaders and two 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. 

During budget negotiations, some Democrats unsuccessfully tried to fight off House Bill 33 to end a general assistance program that provides $200 a month for “thousands of poor and disabled Pennsylvanians.” 

Amid an already tense environment on the Senate floor, Muth, who opposed the bill, read a letter from a recipient of the bill, while state Sen. Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) tried to end this reading by calling for a “point of order.” 

Corman was correct on the parliamentary merits. Lt. Governor John Fetterman later acknowledged that he broke Senate rules by ignoring the Majority Leader, who wanted to call for an immediate vote. 

The video of Corman angrily yelling at Fetterman, over Muth’s own remarks, went viral. 

Progressive social news website NowThis shared some of the footage, which so far has 3.5 million views, and launched the video into that national spotlight. From there it caught the eye of influential progressive voices like DeRay Mckesson, Ava DuVernay, and 2020 presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). 

The final vote on the matter was 26-to-24, with two Republicans joining all 22 Democrats. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed the budget Friday, effectively eliminating the program,

“What happened on the Senate floor last week was a direct attack on Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable and a clear effort to silence the truth,” Muth said in a statement. “I’m grateful that the video has been seen by so many people and they’ve been able to hear Mr. John Boyd’s story. The General Assistance program was a lifesaver to him, and I’m going to keep working on state programs that can help Mr. Boyd and others in his situation.” 

According to a spokesperson for the PA Senate Democrats, her Twitter following has jumped from roughly 11,000 followers last week to now 25,000 followers. She’s set to make an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews Monday night. 

A spokesperson for Corman said Wednesday was a “sad day for good government in Pennsylvania” and that when the rules are not followed, “chaos takes over.” 

“If the rules of the Senate had been followed, that scene would not have occurred. We would have had our disagreement in a respectful manner,” said Jennifer Kocher, Communications Director for Corman. She reiterated that Corman was yelling at Fetterman, not Muth. 

“The Lt. Gov has admitted with pride that he ignored the rules of the institution in order to score political points. The actions taken to ignore the rules of debate sets a dangerous precedent for the future of respectful discourse,” Kocher said.

12 Responses

  1. The PA Republican leadership hates to vote for any program that might give a nickel to a poor black person in Philadelphia, no matter how many of their own redneck, trailer-park-trash constituents would suffer as well.

    I bet if the bill was FOR a general assistance program for whites-only, it would have gotten every one of the GOP votes that killed the normal general assistance program.

    1. David,
      You really are a race baiting jackass. You spout this nonsense to make yourself feel like you’ve actually done something, but you’re actually stealing the emotional well being of minorities. That don’t need your bulletin signaling.

      1. Moderate Dem-

        The PA GOP HATES Philadelphia, especially because of the black population. It’s not even remotely a secret. Their voterID law targeted blacks disproportionately. They constantly try to cut funding for SEPTA.

        These guys come from districts where the white-to-black ratio is more than 20-to-1, while parts of Philly have ratios like 1-to-100.

        You can be sure that their objections to the bill were racially motivated.

  2. Rules are only for the suckers who follow them. We got the money for the program reinvested to hospitals, caused chaos and created great talking points, and raised a ton of money by just ignoring Government and order.

    Let’s repeat this again and again.

  3. This shouting over Senator Muth was a low point for Sen Corman who absolutely needs to write a full and complete apology to Senator Muth and the Senate as well because no matter what rules were violated “bullying” of any type (and shouting down a fellow Senator that loudly is without question “bullying”) is not acceptable behavior. It is extremely disrespectful to loudly bellow at a fellow Senator to stop them from talking. If Senator Corman were to have behaved properly he could have registered his complaint and that sat down. Two wrongs never make a right.

    1. I think Lt Gov Fetterman deserves credit for not using his gavel to drive Corman into the ground, like a nail into a piece of wood.

      1. So. Just to be clear, fetterman acknowledged he wasn’t going to follow the rules anyway, Muth was breaking the rules, and its Corman’s fault for being upset?

        Ya’ll are friggin stupid and dishonest with zero integrity. Complain about the program funding being zeroed out, but do NOT champion deliberate undermining of government and process which creates and maintains democracy.

  4. Being technically correct on a subtle point of Robert’s Rules of Order: value 2-cents

    Being a complete dick about it, and propelling a freshman state senator (of the opposite party) to national prominence: Priceless

    For everything else GOP there’s: the MasterRace credit card.

    1. Would Fetterman have stomped all over the parliamentarian if she was a man? Prolly not.

      Of course, Dems never lost an election underestimating the stupidity of the voting public, so Muth is a feminist hero standing up to bullies by being a bully herself.

      I hear Fetterman is already eyeing her as his running mate for the next Gov race. They make a great team. The government Pennsylvania deserves.

  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

    • Yes. It's a national security risk. (60%)
    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
    • What's ByteDance? (0%)

    Total Voters: 30

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen