Thursday, March 29, 2007

Democratic Caucus Chair Calls for an End to “Name Calling” and a Start to Renewed Budget Negotiations

Less than fifteen minutes after Governor Brad Henry and the House Democratic Caucus announced the veto of a $6.87 billion dollar spending package, supporters of the spending proposal began what Democratic House Leaders described as “childish name calling.”

The comments were made Wednesday afternoon during a press conference criticizing the Governor for using his veto authority and the House Democrats’ declaration that the 44-member caucus would vote to sustain the veto of much of HB 1234.

“The Governor and House Democrats have criticized the process, we’ve criticized the policy, but we have not stooped to name-calling of those we believe crafted a flawed budget bill,” said Democratic Caucus Chairman, Ryan McMullen. “We are about to embark upon a renewed round of budget negotiations. I can scarcely think of anything more detrimental to the negotiations process than firing cheap shots at those you’re about to have to sit down and negotiate with.”

“The time for selling their budget is over,” said McMullen, D-Burns Flat. “Yesterday’s announcement puts HB 1234 behind us. Despite their claims and as evidenced by its failure at this point in the legislative process, this proposal was not a legitimate bi-partisan agreement.”

“An agreement by definition would indicate all parties agree. That is clearly not the case. We simply do not believe that it adequately addresses the priorities of education and public safety,” said McMullen. “The Senate and House Republicans should move past the defeat of their budget proposal, and begin meeting with the remaining leadership to craft a truly bi-partisan budget agreement.”

“We have half the session remaining, but the clock is ticking,” said McMullen. “Folks need to quit the whining, quit the name-calling, roll up their sleeves and get to work.”

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