PA-BGT: House GOP: Deal Possible by Saturday

Dave-Reed1The clock is ticking.

After a closed-door meeting, House GOP leaders gave Gov. Tom Wolf 24 hours to find enough support to pass his $1 billion-plus tax package, Marc Levy of the Associated Press reports.

If Wolf cannot get 102 votes for his tax increases, Republican leadership will look to pass an interim budget, House Majority Leader Dave Reed said after the meeting.

“Once we know there are 102 votes there, we will go the the floor, and we will wrap everything up by Saturday,” Reed said. “If that is the the case within 24 hours, we’re going to prepare a stopgap proposal to do just that.”

Senate Republicans failed with a stopgap budget at the end of September – thanks to a veto from the Governor – but the climate will be much different if Wolf cannot come through.

Lawmakers are rushing to get a deal done before leaving the capital for the holidays and could be inclined to bring at least a little good news home with them in the form of a stopgap measure.

Wolf’s $1 billion-plus tax package is likely to include a hike in the state sales tax, as well as increase on the $1.06/pack tax on cigarettes, Levy reports.

The deal being worked out by Wolf and GOP leaders in both chambers will give the first-year Democratic Governor a 6% spending increase ($30.8 billion total), including $350 million in additional basic education funding.

Wolf will likely need all 84 Democrats in the House to support the new taxes, but may have trouble swinging 18 rank-and-file Republicans to back the plans. He has until Thursday evening.

11 Responses

  1. Time everyone in Harrisburg put their big boy pants on. Both sides man up and do your job. Put your egos aside and do right by the people and get a budget done that fixes the main problems of Pa. for the present and future. TERM LIMITS WOULD HAVE GOT A BUDGET A LOT SOONER. THE POSTURING BY THE HOUSE IS ALL ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THINGS TO SAVE THEIR OWN CUSHY DONOTHING JOBS. TWO FOUR YEAR TERMS WOULD SOLVE THAT. THIS IS A TRUTH FOR DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS..

  2. Dave Reed——–It is a ducking futy to get 102 votes on a bill the Governor will sign or get 135 and override his veto. It is about damn time you do your job and stop passing the buck. If you can’t build consensus in your own caucus then get a new flippin job.

  3. Here’s the message I just sent the BIG BAD WOLF:

    Governor Wolf:

    Your agenda is to destroy those you purport to defend (i.e., the middle class). You are nothing more than a wholly owned subsidiary of the public employees’ unions.

    Read the following written by Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation. Then reflect upon it and do some soul searching.

    NO ONE wants what you are selling. The only reason you were elected is because the voting public issued a vote against Corbett. They did not affirmatively vote for you. Why would the Republicans have increased their majorities in both the House and Senate if the electorate were truly supportive of you? Why during this entire budget debacle have you not left your cocoon in Harrisburg and traveled the state to speak to taxpaying Pennsylvanians? The only ones you have been photographed speaking to are young children in classrooms surrounded by their teachers, who are undoubtedly members of the teachers’ Union, of which you are a wholly-owned subsidiary.

    Why don’t you do all Pennsylvanians a favor and RESIGN NOW?

    On budget, lumps of coal from Pa. pols

    With Christmas fast approaching, children are busy creating wish lists for Santa Claus. While most kids eventually outgrow a belief in Santa — and realize it’s their family buying their gifts — a few Pennsylvania politicians seem unwilling to give up the make-believe world of their childhood.

    Just as Santa promises toys and totes bags of presents, some politicians promise gifts to voters and hand out goodies to countless special-interest groups. If you believe their spin — and in Santa — no one will have to pay for these gifts.
    This Santa Claus approach to budgeting has played a huge role in the current impasse in Harrisburg.

    The past two weeks have been a perfect example. The state Senate and House each passed competing budgets ($30.8 billion and $30.3 billion, respectively), yet neither offered a plan to pay for this spending.
    In other words, Gov. Wolf and lawmakers know how they want to spend your money, but they don’t want you to see your new tax bill.

    This is hardly a new approach. Remember Wolf’s plan to impose a severance tax to pay for new education spending? The promise was that just a few natural-gas corporations would pay the tax. In reality, all Pennsylvanians, not just drillers, would pay via fewer jobs and higher energy costs. According to the Independent Fiscal Office, families earning less than $100,000 a year would have faced $180 million more in utility bills under Wolf’s original severance tax.
    Indeed, Santa-style budgeting started in March, when Wolf unveiled his original proposal that called for the largest spending increase in state history. Like Santa, he offered oodles of goodies, while pledging that the “average homeowner” would actually pay less after property tax rebates.
    Wolf’s promises didn’t hold up to scrutiny. All told, his plan, which included increases in sales and income taxes, would have resulted in a net tax increase of $1,400 per family of four. In fact, every income group — from lowest to highest — would have paid more taxes, the Independent Fiscal Office reported.
    The pattern repeated in four more tax hike proposals. Each time, Wolf gushed over all the new presents he would give. Conveniently, he avoided mentioning who would pay for it all. When the truth came out and families realized the tab was theirs, legislators rejected these plans.
    The lesson? No one wants to pay more taxes — and for good reason.
    The commonwealth’s state and local tax burden is already $4,374 per person, or a whopping $17,000 per family of four, according to the Tax Foundation. This is the 10th highest state and local tax burden in the nation.
    What have over-taxation and over-spending given us? From 1991 to 2014, Pennsylvania has ranked at the bottom of the charts in key growth measures: 45th in job growth, 47th in personal income growth, and 48th in population growth.
    In other words, Santa Claus budgeting has done nothing but fill Pennsylvania families’ stockings with lumps of coal.
    What taxpayers really need for Christmas is protection from the cycle of ever-increasing spending and taxation.
    The Taxpayer Protection Act (TPA), advanced by the state Senate earlier this year, would limit spending growth to inflation plus population growth. This is a great way to avoid a higher tax bill, and it’s a present we all can enjoy.
    Making sure this budget-process breakdown never happens again would also make a nice stocking stuffer. Bills pending in the House and Senate would guarantee that schools and social services receive funding during an impasse — meaning students would not become hostages to budget panic.
    If Pennsylvanians have learned anything over the past six months, it’s that no matter what politicians say, the promise of new and bigger presents just means someone is paying more. That someone is you.
    This Christmas, let’s stop promising special interests they’ll get every present on their wish list. Instead, let’s get serious about controlling spending — and leaving more than coal in taxpayers’ stockings.
    Nathan A. Benefield is vice president of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation.

  4. These really are the droids we’ve been looking for! Now, how do we get rid of them? Maybe we could try Yoda-ling in the canyon or better yet, a Hand Solo.Are we up for a new beginning…or are we just jerking off?

  5. Is there anyway to have a class action suit against the cabinet maker for professional misconduct and incompetence? Why don’t we have specifics on the tax increases? Where is the transparency? Any Republican who votes for this is deserving of a primary challenge.

  6. Larry-

    I just know right from wrong. The law doesn’t usually match that, particularly regarding the right to go after lawmakers.

    (Maybe, I was just testing you to see if you knew.)

  7. “Lawmakers are rushing to get a deal done before leaving the capital for the holidays”

    Nothing inspires confidence in the voters and taxpayers like a rushed budget agreement.

    Is there anyway to have a class action suit against the legislature for professional misconduct and incompetence?

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