Surprising (almost shocking, really) bi-partisan moves in Washington succeeded in keeping 800,000 children safe from deportation for at least the next six months.
That’s a lot more than we can say about the process in Harrisburg where House leaders are pursuing a crippling, ideological plan that will put the education, health and safety of the commonwealth’s nearly 3 million children at risk by cutting $2 billion in state essential services.
What’s going on? It begins with the fact that the state budget was passed early July by both the Republicans in the PA House and Senate. Soon thereafter, the overwhelmingly Republican Senate reached an agreement with the Democratic Governor on a plan to pay for the budget that was already passed.
But the PA House, also led by Republicans, has been unwilling to put the Senate-passed revenue package up for a vote. The relationships between the House and Senate Republican leaders, and inside the Republican caucus in the House, are so bad that House leaders haven’t even called their members back to work in Harrisburg since July 22nd.
At the root of the House’s Republican opposition to the Senate Republican’s revenue package are the Senate’s reliance on expanded gambling, more state borrowing and new taxes on consumers’ utility payments, and on fracking companies drilling for natural gas in PA. The House leaders say they refuse to vote for any new taxes.
Unfortunately, their refusal comes at a biting cost to the very people they serve because the House leaders have no alternative plan to pay for the budget they voted for and passed. Without a plan in place by September 15th, billions will be cut from child care, schools, county human services and the full gamut of local programs.
Confronted with the horrors of Hurricane Harvey and the grim specter of Irma, a partisan divide that seemed deeper than the Nile and wider than Grand Canyon was crossed with a simple bi-partisan sit-down and memorialized in a surprisingly uplifting @realDonaldTrump tweet.
Ta-da! The federal coffers are refilled, a three-month budget plan is adopted, and billions in Hurricane relief checks will be cut. The fact that Pres. Trump is now chummy with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and her Senate counterpart Chuck Schumer, is jaw dropping to say the least.
You have to give it to the President for finally learning how to employ the time-tested tool of bi-partisan compromise to get things done for the nation. But there’s little chance the PA House leaders will take the same approach unless, like the victims of the floods in Texas, the communities, families and kids who are in harms’ way make their anger at Harrisburg as palpable as a Category 5. That storm is brewing and the gale winds start to blow hard on Monday when the House returns to work.
Join PCCY in the Capitol Rotunda at 11:00 am on Monday to add your voice to the thunderous call for the House to stop it’s reign of horrors and protect our children.
BE A HERO! Volunteer to help on Give Kids Sight Day, a day of free eye screenings for kids need them and/or are uninsured.
“You know why? Because they need illegal aliens, they need illegal aliens to fill the churches.” Former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s take on why the Catholic Church urged compassion for Dreamers and opposed the decision to end DACA.