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May 09, 2023 11:46 AM UTC

Beclowning Themselves to the Bitter End

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Apparently House Republicans walked out…so they could talk about walking out.


Why isn’t anybody taking me seriously?

The 2023 legislative session in Colorado came to a close late Monday evening, but not before House Republicans took their months-long complaining and filibustering to a new level of ludicrous.

In a final day full of frayed nerves and flaring tempers on both sides of the aisle, the House GOP spent most of the remaining hours of the session whining that legislators were doing too much legislating and expressing horror that some bills would include more words for them to read.

People expect us to work on the last day of the session?!? Egads!!!

After failing to filibuster everything on the calendar, Republicans reverted to their 10-year-old selves and ran away from home – only to stand on the steps outside and fume while Democrats moved ahead without them.

State Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) was extremely proud of his caucus himself for what was a completely pointless maneuver, rushing to Twitter with this embarrassingly thirsty take:



And what did this walkout achieve?

Absolutely nothing.

As Marianne Goodland reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

The Colorado General Assembly approved on Monday a measure that will ask voters to forego part of their TABOR refunds in exchange for providing tax relief to property owners.

Republicans — angered by what they described as the bill’s attempt to bribe Coloradans to vote for the ballot measure — walked out of the House chambers in protest and refused to vote on Senate Bill 303.

The bill passed that chamber on a vote of 46-0, with 19 excused. [Pols emphasis] It was then approved in the Senate on a 23-12 party-line vote, and now heads to the governor…

…with the final vote on tap, Republicans walked out. All 19 were marked as “absent” rather than “excused.”

The Republican caucus then gathered on the west side of the Capitol and waited for the final vote to take place. [Pols emphasis]

You sure showed them!

Will somebody PLEASE look at Matt Soper?

As Jesse Paul and Elliot Wenzler of The Colorado Sun explain, Republicans were complaining about a proposal that will still need voter approval:

Colorado voters will decide in November whether to approve a 10-year plan to rein in skyrocketing property taxes, as well as whether the state should distribute about $2 billion in Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds checks next year in equal amounts rather than linking their size to people’s income level, with more money being sent to higher earners.

The questions were placed on the November ballot Monday by Democrats in the Colorado legislature as the General Assembly wrapped up its 120-day lawmaking term. The legislature worked until about 10 p.m., just before its 11:59 p.m. deadline, to complete its work, when the Capitol carriage back into a pumpkin…

…The property tax plan, pushed for by Gov. Jared Polis, will appear on the ballot as Proposition HH and would work by tamping down the effect of rising residential and commercial property values on the tax burden for homeowners and businesses. 

Colorado Public Radio and Colorado Newsline have more details on SB23-303 and Prop. HH. Marianne Goodland has more on the House GOP’s temper tantrum:

And with the final vote on tap, Republicans walked out. All 19 were marked as “absent” rather than “excused.”

The Republican caucus then gathered on the west side of the Capitol and waited for the final vote to take place.

A frustrated House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, told reporters they left because they’ve been silenced…

…He added the final straw was that House Democrats were allowed to introduce their amendments but Republicans were denied.

“We’re just done with how they have jammed this agenda through. They have two thirds of majority and they’ve used more rules than they’ve ever used before in the history of this state,” he said. “We don’t know what we can do to get the voices of our people heard. We’re sad for the people of Colorado that are about to get the biggest tax increase in their life.”

“Our votes don’t matter,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

House Republicans started the 2023 session with their sad faces and never changed

Again, VOTERS WILL HAVE TO APPROVE THIS FIRST. The legislature can’t just increase taxes because of TABOR. Republicans know this, but they don’t let facts get in the way of their whining. 

House Democrats denied Republican efforts to introduce amendments because Republicans were not acting in good faith. The GOP plan was to run out the clock on the legislative session, which is the only tune that they have played since January. Democrats were trying to finalize a proposal to lower property taxes and provide TABOR refunds that didn’t unfairly reward the wealthiest Coloradans. Republicans just wanted to go home.

House Republicans have proved throughout the session that they had no intention of working in good faith with Democrats. Just last week, Republican Rep. Richard Holtorf was THANKING Democratic leaders for trying to work with Republicans despite their persistent wrench throwing. 

Monday’s political theater was just the final act in the same play that began as soon as the curtain was raised in January:

1) Democrats propose legislation;
2) Republicans try to filibuster (even when they actually support the bill,);
3) Democrats let Republicans yammer on for awhile and then end debate and move forward;
4) Republicans make sad faces and accuse Democrats of ignoring them.
5) Rinse, repeat.

It’s absurd that Republicans demanded – up to the final hours of the session – that Democrats work with them in good faith when the GOP absolutely refused to do the same. If anything, Democrats gave Republicans too much time this session – long after it had become clear that the GOP wasn’t really interested in having a practical discussion.

Remember: Republicans did this to themselves. Colorado voters have rejected their nonsense in one election cycle after another, and the GOP never changes its approach. If you’re going to act like fools, don’t be surprised when you’re treated as such. 


5 thoughts on “Beclowning Themselves to the Bitter End

  1. As a still registered Republican, I just can’t get my undies all in a wad over these antics. The die was cast for the Rs in the Legislature when highly thought of senators like Kevin Priola, switched parties, and Bob Rankin, just resigned in frustration. Hugh McKean’s untimely death also didn’t help.

    As for the TABOR refunds; assuming that the ballot initiative passes; it doesn’t really affect me personally. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of refunds in 2022 from the state and JeffCo. Evening the amounts out is sort of a no-brainer.

    How the Rs do in November, 2024 will depend in part on their performance next Session. If the focus remains on MAGA denialism and far right, out of touch, religious zealotry, I can see them losing even more seats.

    1. House Republicans are reaping all the benefits that come with being out of touch kookballs. Their roles are now largely performative. I love it.

  2. I'm confused … "The Colorado General Assembly approved on Monday a measure that will ask voters to forego part of their TABOR refunds in exchange for providing tax relief to property owners."

    Do Republicans object to tax relief for property owners?  Would they have preferred having the whole amount of TABOR refunds be given out in a manner similar to last year and NOT providing any relief for the sharp rise in property taxes that came about from the end of the Gallagher Amendment and the boom in Colorado property values? 

    Did they have some sort of alternative bill introduced?

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