[r47] Rep. Foley: Statement On Democrat Procedural Rules (2/21/2008)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Start Date: 2/21/2008 All Day
End Date: 2/21/2008
House Republicans were disappointed Thursday because the majority Democrats unreasonably denied them the opportunity to add amendments to Senate Bill 345, which contained measures dealing with incorrect classification of employees. House Democrats, who hold a 51-49 majority, attempted to amend illegal-immigration legislation into the bill, but in a way that denied Republicans the same opportunity.

House Democrats denied Republicans the opportunity to offer amendments to toughen sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants and to deny most state benefits to illegal immigrants.

Republicans had already filed a measure with a get-tough attitude on illegal immigration, but Democrat Speaker B. Patrick Bauer refused to hand it down.

"House Republicans were increasingly frustrated by arbitrary rulings Thursday that substituted the power of a majority over the agreed rules of the House," said Rep. Foley. "I am saddened that the bipartisanship cooperation and civility this session may come to an end. However, it should have been no surprise that the Democrats would return to the abuses of old politics.

"Why agree to follow the rules if we are not going to honor them? We have been denied the right to vote and participate on matters most important to our constituents such as illegal immigration, property tax relief and the marriage amendment. The Democrats have exercised poor leadership. Public policy without process is not democratic.

"As House Republican rules leader, I hope and trust we can regain mutual respect within the framework of our rules. The majority can vote down anything, but they do owe all Hoosiers a fair opportunity to hear debate on the issues."

-30-