I'll be honest, I didn't vote for any Republicans in last year's general election, but if I had I'd be mighty disappointed, just like everyone who didn't vote for the Republicans or just stayed home. PA Republicans, like many of their comrades across the country, claimed that the voters had spoken and they had a mandate to govern. Well we're 6 months in so far, and their successes have been minimal, if not nonexistent.
With control of both chambers of the General Assembly and the Governor's Mansion, the PA GOP said they were ready to lead and could finally achieve all of their conservative priorities like:
· Balancing a budget by simply cutting waste, fraud and abuse
· Implementing a school voucher plan
· Privatizing the state's liquor industry
· Tort reform
· Blaming poor and working Pennsylvanians for all that is wrong in the world, and
· Handing out more corporate welfare
All, with the underlying Norquist-pledge of no new or increased taxes.
But from the House side of the Capitol, instead of making headway on these issues, we're hearing more progress on initiatives like Voter ID, abortion clinics and the Castle Doctrine.
Even the governor told WHYY during an hour long interview, he's a little bummed out the first bill he signed was repealing the Sprinkler Law.
Don't get me wrong, these are all perennial conservative favorites too, but they're just not the "two jobs and a voucher" in the pocket of every Pennsylvanian that the Republicans had promised.
So what is the hold-up?
Believe me I know what the House GOP is dealing with -- working with the Senate Republicans is no walk in the park, after all their caucus consists of some independent thinkers and responsive legislators, who by House and Gubernatorial standards seem like reasonable people who actually understand the concept of governing.
And Gov. Corbett certainly hasn't done any of them any favors either, from his proposed increase to welfare spending and ridiculous cuts to education, to creating a new commissions to study the topic du jour, in addition to selecting campaign contributors and staff family members for high level appointments, and his refusal to even consider Marcellus Shale impact fee or tax. He definitely was a distraction from the Republican talking points.
Recently, House Republicans have boasted the supposed "early passage" of their draconian budget plan, which was been panned by Senate leaders since before it was even approved.
So while some of the GOP big ticket items are in a holding pattern for now, my guess is the Republicans will manage to pass a budget on times as predicted...albeit one that makes little or no sense for Pennsylvania families.