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February 02, 2024 11:26 AM UTC

"Of Course We Speak More"—Rep. Bradley Admits House GOP Isn't Being "Silenced"

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Colorado General Assembly’s 2024 session kicked off last month, we took note of a release from the Colorado Democratic Party responding to one of the loudest and most frequently-delivered complaints from the 19 Republican members of the 65-seat Colorado House: that supermajority Democrats we’re unfairly “silencing” Republicans by curtailing obvious attempts by the GOP to obstruct the majority with tactics that had nothing to do with good-faith debate. In truth, even after the majority invoked the dreaded “Rule 14” to limit pointless obstructive droning by legislators, an analysis of speaking time afforded to each side revealed that the 19 members of the Republican minority sucked up almost 60% of the available oxygen:

Colorado House Republicans’ claim that they were being “silenced” in 2023’s legislative session is belied by an analysis of floor time data.

The Colorado Democratic Party’s analysis of the floor time used for legislative business between the day Rule 14 was first invoked – March 25th – and Sine Die – May 8th – reveals that Republican members spoke more than twice as long as Democratic members.

In a direct contradiction of their complaints of being disallowed from speaking, the truth is that Republicans dominated floor discussion both with their comments and political tactics used to further their political message instead of delivering for working Coloradans.

Despite their historically small minority – holding just 19 of 65 seats in the House, or 29.2% – Republican members spoke for nearly 60% of the legislative discussion time on the floor in the final 37 days of the 2023 session. [Pols emphasis]

Today, the House debated a resolution that would make some changes to the rules governing one of the minority’s favorite obstruction tactics, reading bills at length, as well as streamlining some procedure at the end of the session to prevent the end-of-session legislative pileup that minority obstruction throughout the session hopes to engineer. House Republicans led by their new Minority Leader Rose Pugliese howled that their “voices” would be “silenced” by such provisions as Republicans actually being required to be present as bills are read out on their behalf:

On behalf of our caucus, we had some conversations, and we object to this resolution. The part that we object to most strongly is the suspension of the rules in the last ten days of session. As many of us remember during the last three days of session, um when the rules were suspended, our voices were silenced. We were not allowed to represent the people of Colorado that elected us to be here. And our caucus has some extreme issues with that…

Pugliese’s caucus seems to have “extreme issues” with just about everything, but the truth is that Republicans have not been unfairly treated if their diminished 29.2% of the House accounts for 59% of debate time. If anything, that means majority Democrats have been far more generous to the GOP minority than they needed to be–and it was only after it was clear Republicans were abusing the majority’s generous allotment of most of the debate time to obstruct that they invoked the existing rules available to shut Republicans down.

Following the debate over today’s resolution, Republican Rep. Brandi Bradley became the first in her party we’ve seen to respond to this breakdown of debate time, and admitted that House Republicans have in truth been allowed to speak more than the majority more than double their number:

Republicans can’t have this both ways. If 29% of the House is hogging 60% of the debate time, that 29% is not in any way being “silenced.” Rep. Bradley probably didn’t realize it, but she just blew the entire contention from the House GOP micro-minority that they are being mistreated out of the water. That’s why Republicans chose to ignore this release from Colorado Democrats instead of challenging it–because once you lay out the facts, there’s simply no challenge.

Now that both sides agree Republicans get to “speak more” despite their dwindling numbers, it’s our hope no one will let them falsely claim otherwise again.


One thought on ““Of Course We Speak More”—Rep. Bradley Admits House GOP Isn’t Being “Silenced”

  1. Of course they talk more.  The beauty of the arrogant ignorant is they are windbags of the highest order.  Speaking without thinking is their thing.  And since they do no thinking, the speaking flows like . . . a sewer


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