Colorado House GOP Revolting Over Pro-Vaccine Bill

Rep. Kyle Mullica (D).

As the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports today, the briefly reanimated 2020 session of the Colorado General Assembly is thankfully set to include continued debate on Senate Bill 20-163, proposed legislation to help improve the state of Colorado’s abysmal childhood vaccination rates:

[Rep. Kyle] Mullica is one of the sponsors Senate Bill 163, aimed at increasing Colorado’s vaccination rates — the lowest in the nation — by making it harder for people to claim non-medical exemptions. The bill was making its way through the legislature — and had passed through the Senate — before the session was suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

When lawmakers returned with a goal of finishing their work as quickly as possible, it wasn’t clear whether the bill with vocal opposition would still get a vote. This week, leadership agreed to add the bill to the calendar, and it’s scheduled to be heard Sunday at noon by the Health and Insurance Committee.

The announcement that SB-163 will be heard in the House Health and Insurance Committee on Sunday as the House tries to maximize productivity while limiting the duration of the restarted session has, not altogether unsurprisingly, convinced Colorado’s highly militant and conspiracy-minded minority of “anti-vaxxer” activists that the fix is in:

Anyone who is familiar with the language of SB-163 already knows, there is simply no truth to the charge that “Flu, HPV, COVID” vaccines “all will be mandated.” But this is representative of the reality-detached nonsense that typified the hours-long hearings over this bill in the Colorado Senate prior to the pandemic-forced adjournment. Although the debate over vaccination has not always cleanly split along partisan lines, in Colorado the issue has become solidly partisan–with Republican lawmakers emerging as “anti-vaxxer” champions, led by some of the GOP caucus’s most visible figures like Rep. Dave Williams and Lori Saine.

This morning, House Republicans led by Minority Leader Patrick Neville are reportedly staging a 2019-style revolt against Sunday’s hearing, asking for legislation to be read at length and engaging in other procedural chicanery to slow the process down. Though the GOP minority can’t stop the bill from eventually passing, they do have the power to make a public stink on behalf of vaccine opponents as they did before the pandemic shut down the legislature.

And that’s when we get to finally ask–what are Republicans hoping to gain with this? Currying favor with a small minority of “anti-vaxxer” voters by outraging the vast majority at the worst possible moment just a few months ahead of an election is a political strategy that’s so bad it almost seems like a joke. Democrats should be overjoyed to let the GOP become the party of anti-vaxxers in the era of COVID-19.

Notwithstanding, of course, the health hazard of holding hearings with these people any day of the week.

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14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

    Alva, you could have just stuck with the 1st four words of this headline, and then you could use it repeatedly into the future

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Look on the bright side. When all the ding dong dummies that will oppose the COVID vaccine come out of the woodwork, because “Bill Gates put micro-chips in all the shots,” that just means normal people will get their shots quicker.

      (edit) @2Jung2Die: do remember that a good slug of Dems is also anti-vaccinations, including that Kennedy fellow.

  2. dan axelrod says:

    Over at the FB Recall Polis 2020 page, the hysteria is mounting. At this point they believe that Polis himself will come to their house, drag their children into the street and give them vaccines using dull needles. Once he's done with that he'll give them the gay and use the embedded chips to indoctrinate the kids with the libturdism. 

  3. kwtreekwtree says:

    For legislators participating remotely, they can just turn the volume off on the extended reading of the bill, look concerned and attentive for the video, and work or play on other stuff. Still, reading bills at length is a colossal waste of time. Which GOPers want, apparently.

  4. spaceman65 says:

    Anyone got a vial of measles lying around?  Let's see how the anti-vaxxers enjoy their freedom to have measles

    • dan axelrod says:

      Dammit! I had a whole case of it in the garage. I cleaned it out when I got rid of all the Gordon Klingenschmidt signs I'd pulled from underneath my car. 

       

      • kwtreekwtree says:

        He’s still running….. on the grounds that “They cheated, and I should get another chance.”

        The judge said “No.”

        Last year, the voters said “No.” But the voices in El Gordo’s head say, Yes. Yes. yesssss!

        So you should go ahead and post those Klingenschmitt for Colorado signs. It will be like a Sign From God.

        • dan axelrod says:

          I already took the steel pegs from them to make plant hangers. The rest were picked up by Waste Management. If I still had them I'd take them to Gordo myself along with that case of measles. 

        • dan axelrod says:

          Haven't been to his FB page in a while. He's gone down the rabbit hole. On the upside he has 4100 or so friends and can't manage more than 10 or 12 comments on a post. 

           

          • kwtreekwtree says:

            I haven’t followed the Kling on in a while. It’s amusing that he is too toxic for DougCo GOP. That’s a low bar. Is it sad that his political career, such as it was, is finally over? 

            He’s probably still pulling in a million or so a year bilking pensioners for donations to his online “ministry”. He really is just an especially virulent right wing con artist. 
             

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