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May 02, 2023 02:55 PM UTC

The Squeeze: GOP Ramps Up Obstruction As Session's End Nears

  • 8 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

 

Titular House Minority Leader Mike Lynch (R).

Above is a clip of GOP Rep. Richard Holtorf, one of the prime participants in the House GOP’s attempts to obstruct the majority agenda, last week thanking Democrats for their “grace and consideration” working together with the GOP minority on legislation–which, if you’ve been paying attention to this year’s legislative session, sounds like a description of another state or maybe planet.

The 2023 session of the Colorado General Assembly comes to an end next week, capping off 120 days of the most aggressive obstruction the dwindling Republican micro-minority in the Colorado House could sustain, forcing Democrats to use the parliamentary means at their disposal to limit superfluous debate. GOP House Minority Leader Mike Lynch has conceded after several failed attempts to persuade his caucus to agree to deals with the majority in exchange for a halt to time-wasting obstruction tactics that he doesn’t have control over a faction of his own lawmakers, which greatly reduced Lynch’s negotiating influence this year.

And as the Colorado Sun reports today in their Unaffiliated newsletter, Republicans have seized on the silliest pretext yet to abandon the fragile truce that kept bills moving for the past week, signaling an end to Rep. Holtorf’s smarmy kumbaya:

House Republicans had several bills read at length Monday after a weekslong pause in the caucus’ use of the delay tactic.

The move was mostly in protest of a decision by the Democratic majority to send the fiscal year 2023-24 budget bill to Polis to be signed despite a $10,000 footnote error.

Instead of allowing what appears to be a typographical error in the normal noncontroversial way that nonpartisan legislative staffers explained was fine to do over such a trifling mistake, Republicans have declared this justification to grind the process to a halt once again, with hundreds of bills left to be considered in the session’s final few days:

The House GOP sent a clear signal, however, that it’s ready and willing to ask that bills be read at length through the end of the session, marking the end of a deal with Democrats in which they agreed not to have bills be read at length in exchange for taking Sundays off.

The ridiculously thin pretext of needing to revote on the entire budget over a $10,000 error makes it obvious that any pretext would have been sufficient, or none whatsoever, for Republicans to end the truce and resume stalling the Democratic agenda in the session’s final days. It’s no secret that the ambitious agenda from this year’s majority has left a lot to sort out in the session’s final days, creating a time crunch that Republicans can exploit. Having given up on utilizing this leverage for concessions from the majority like a strategic-minded minority would do, running out the clock to kill bills on the calendar is all they have left.

In the meantime, there’s a long week of late nights coming up. If anything, we may be arguing next week over whether Democrats were too tolerant of the micro-minority’s obstruction tactics this year, and should have taken a harder line earlier in the session to limit delays with no purpose other than to waste time.

And that’s a lesson Democrats will get to apply next year.

Comments

8 thoughts on “The Squeeze: GOP Ramps Up Obstruction As Session’s End Nears

    1. Oh, please, Fluffy. Wrangling and in-fighting are part and parcel to politicking, but suggesting it is anywhere NEAR the level of blood-letting we are watching in the GQP is …well…poppycock.

    2. Only thing I see here is that the D majority does have factions. That’s nothing new.

      The one issue is why would anyone oppose making indecent exposure in front of minor kids a felony (Rep. Epps’ filibuster)? If that had been in effect a few years ago, Mr. Lauren Boebert might have gotten a bit of jail time.

    3. And yet, the GOP can get nothing passed because like you they are so ridiculous that they can't get enough seats to gain any leverage to enact policies they favor.  Of course, most of them don't actually have any policies.  Kinda like you, too

    4. Colorado Democrats don't agree on everything and are sometimes guilty of thinking on their own rather than being forced into groupthink. This is huge…call every fucking media organization in town!!

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