Monday, February 23, 2009

Republicans Claim Victory on Prevailing Wage

Iowa Republicans weren't doing cartwheels in the house chamber today. But they're definitely starting to claim victory now that the statehouse sleepover is over. Democrats had said they'd end the weekend-long drama at 1pm Monday if no one had switched from "yes" to "no" on the bill. No one did. Perhaps, appropriately, as this has all turned out, nothing happened at 1pm.

House Speaker Pat Murphy called the house into order (he added, "I hope you all had a good night's sleep", which drew some chuckles from lawmakers) and closed the voting. He adjourned the session...until today (technically, it was still last Thursday in the house) and called it at "1:08"pm, although my phone said it was 1:10pm. But what are two minutes among friends?

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy switched his "yes" vote to "no". That allows them to bring them bill up again later, hoping the second time around will help them find that elusive 51st vote to pass it.

I wasn't in on the gaggle of reporters surrounded Murphy after the session adjourned. But Radio Iowa's Kay Henderson reports Murphy says his "Irish temper" may have gotten the best of him Friday after he found out he lacked the one vote he needed to pass prevailing wage. That's why he apparently staged the sleepover all weekend long, in the hopes of a vote change.

Republicans have their "message" set on what's happened.

Here's the release from House Republicans:

Taxpayers Victorious Over Prevailing Wage Bill

(DES MOINES)—67 hours after the Speaker of the House decided to leave the voting machine open, House File 333 has officially been defeated.

On Friday, lawmakers debated the bill for five hour debate. On the final vote, five Democrats joined Republicans in opposition to the bill. House Democrats’ took unprecedented measures to strong arm the organized labor bill through the Iowa House. When Democrats did not receive the number of votes they needed to pass the bill, they announced they would be leaving the voting machine open for the entire weekend.

Monday, the Speaker closed the machine and the bill failed with a final vote of 49 to 49.

“I’m pleased the will of Iowans triumphed and sank House File 333 which would have raised property taxes, hurt disaster victims, and put small town contractors out of business,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen. “While Iowans were victorious today, it is my hope that we will not see any version of this bill in the future. Even amended, this bill will hurt Iowa’s economy and raise taxes. Republicans instead believe it’s now time we start focusing on how to put 80,000 Iowans back to work, how to energize our economy and how to cut government spending to balance our budgets.”

During the weekend, the voting machine shut down three times. House Republicans took turns maintaining a presence in the House, watching the voting machine.

Here's the one Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn sent out on Twitter:

Iowans, way to make your voices heard as prevailing wage fails. must stay vigilant on this and rest of jobs-killing agenda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a sad thing when contactors can't be asked to pay a liveable wage!