House Democrats Vote to Prolong Budget Impasse

Switch state worker hostages for social service network hostages

House Republicans stood together to support a fully balanced budget that controls spending and does not increase taxes, but House Democrat leaders instead wanted to prolong the current budget impasse, House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said today.

A bipartisan amendment to end the budget impasse, which was crafted in conjunction with the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, was withdrawn under pressure by the amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Nick Kotik (D-Allegheny).

“Not having a state budget in August was not by accident but by design. The governor and House Democrats have planned to create the budget impasse in order to raise taxes,” Smith said. “Republicans are representing families as they fight the governor’s and House Democrats’ $4 million-a-day tax increase.

“The governor has chosen to not pay state workers as a means to create a bigger crisis. House Republicans have always felt strongly that people who work – including state workers – should be paid; doing otherwise is un-American.

“A stopgap will just be shifting hostages from state workers to local social service agencies, all in the name of higher taxes. Child care services, trauma centers, and drug and alcohol treatment programs, for example, will be cutting services, laying off people or shutting down without a budget being passed. The people who need these services will be the new budget hostages, the new crisis.

“Expanding state spending by billions of dollars with new and bigger programs is unrealistic. If the Democrat $29 billion proposal passes into law, hard-working Pennsylvanians will face what will possibly be a historically high tax increase on families.

“Republicans are looking to spend within our means. Democrats are voting to spend more and tax more. Republicans are fighting what amounts to an attack on Pennsylvania’s middle-class, working families. Democrats are fighting for a $4 million-a-day tax increase aimed solely at the state’s middle class.

“Republicans are looking out for your priorities – fiscal responsibility and no more taxes. Democrats are looking out for themselves – more programs, more spending, more taxes.”

Representative Sam Smith
Republican Leader
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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