Republicans have tried everything to block Obamacare–lies, misrepresentations, scare tactics, all sorts of sh*t about birth certificates, the Bible–you know, pretty much everything but bribery. Is anyone really surprised that Virginia Republicans are not doing exactly that in order to block Obamacare.
Republicans and Democrats were embroiled in a budget standoff over Gov. Terry McAuliff’s push to expand Medicaid under the ACA. The Democrat-controlled Senate would likely pass the expansion, while the GOP-stacked House of Delegates would block it. Republicans have been blocking McAuliffe’s numerous attempts to assist more than 400,000 uninsured Virginians since his election.
According to the Huffington Post, Democrats’ hope was that Republicans would be blamed for the shutdown that would result from the standoff. However, a new piece of news has caused some problems with that plan–namely, State Sen. Phillip P. Puckett’s resignation.
The GOP, according to the Washington Post, has offered Puckett the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission and his daughter a judgeship, according to three separate sources familiar with the plan. This would temporarily give Republicans control of both chambers and place Gov. McAuliffe in the uncomfortable position of vetoing the GOP budget in order to continue the fight over Medicaid.
“It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting healthcare… They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” Delegate Scott A. Surovell (D) told the Washington Post. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”
“I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially those in Southwest Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “This situation is unacceptable, but the bipartisan majority in the Senate and I will continue to work hard to put Virginians first and find compromise on a budget that closes the coverage gap.”
Republicans, however, are singing Puckett’s praises, though Republicans deny that Puckett was offered the jobs in exchange for placing them in this advantageous position.
Although Senator Puckett has decided to end his tenure in the Senate of Virginia, his legacy there will endure,” said Senate Minority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. “And, his commitment and service to the people of Southwest, who honored him with their votes in five successive elections, will continue.”
Puckett is expected to resign on Monday, and Del. Terry Kilgore (R), chairman of the Tobacco Commission, has confirmed that it will be meeting with Puckett to consider appointing him, perhaps as early as this week.
“If he’s available, we would like to have him because of his knowledge of the area, and he formerly was on the tobacco commission for years, and he knew what we’re about,” Kilgore said.
Whatever works, right?