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PA-Gov: Wolf Loses First Budget Fight…Sort Of

Wolf-Press ConferenceIt’s certainly going to be an interesting summer.

Just a month out from the budget deadline we witnessed the first real brouhaha of the session.

It all started with a legislative game of chicken.

The Republicans introduced a spending plan that didn’t include any of the Governor’s budget proposals. In response, the Democrats proposed an amendment to include Gov. Wolf’s plan to increase funding for schools in the hopes of getting Republicans on the record voting against it.

Instead, the GOP one upped the opposition by amending the bill with all of Governor Wolf’s proposed tax plans. The minority party had no desire to lose this battle, so they went against the bill as well.

As a result, the House unanimously voted the bill down.

Now PA Republicans can assert that Wolf’s program is so unpopular that nobody voted for it.

In fact, they already have.

National Republicans tried something similar back in 2012 in order embarrass President Obama in an election year.

Suffice to say, the Governor was upset (or as upset as he is physically able to get). He soon emerged for a quick press conference to denounce the maneuver.

“Let me just be clear, what the Republicans did just a few minutes ago, was a stunt,” Governor Wolf declared, using the word “stunt” repeatedly.

“It’s a funny way to start a conversation,” he concluded.

With just less than a month to go and both parties still preoccupied with gaining some political cover, it’s fair to say the prospects of an agreement don’t exactly appear great.

9 Responses

  1. The Governor painted himself into a corner before Election Day. He promptly acted to kill job growth & then proposed a budget/tax plan that that will hammer the nails into our economic coffin. He has to decide if he is prepared to be a one term governor & do things that will alienate his supporters by bringing the budget into balance & fix the pension problem with modest tax changes & policy changes like killing Davis Bacon, creating “Right to Work” enclaves in distresses areas. He needs to avoid getting sucked into the Harrisburg insiders power game the cooked Corbett’s goose.

  2. get rid of public schools…and give vouchers or tax credits for real schools..

  3. Gov Wolf: The conversations tarted when you presented this budget — not when the House voted on that exact budget and not a single person voted yes. Is the vote a stunt? Or is the subject matter of the bill a stunt?

  4. Y’know, the Democrats haven’t explained why passing Gov. Wolf’s entire budget plan would be a “stunt.” Why didn’t they vote for it? Oh. They don’t like some of it either. Now that we have that settled, can we come inside and get to work? Recess is over, children.

  5. Funny thing about sucker punches, unless they deliver a KO, they usually backfire. This calls to mind when the GOP tried to sucker punch Rendell on his first budget in 2003. Rendell got the first laugh. Love or hate Wolf, the GOP has to work with him …he holds the veto pen and they don’t have veto-proof majorities. Trying to embarrass the gov out of the gate in an effort to score cheap political points will come back to haunt.

  6. Too bad Corbett ever was governor. He went after schools because GOP wants to end public schools & replace them with privatized schools on the taxpayers’ dime. Sadly, PA is so gerrymandered now that it can take 3 Democratic votes versus 1 GOP vote to elect a member of Congress nationally or a member of the PA legislature.

  7. “In response, the Democrats proposed an amendment to include Gov. Wolf’s plan to increase funding for schools in the hopes of getting Republicans on the record voting against it.”

    So Nick calls it a gimmick if Republicans do it, but not when Democrats do it.

  8. When the maker of the Amendment Seth Grove doesn’t even vote for it you know the whole thing was a farce

  9. A funny way to start a conversation? He should be embarrassed. If Wolf had any leadership ability, the conversation would have started a long time ago.

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