While Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s supporters are celebrating his pushing ahead with Medicaid expansion, they should ask themselves a question. “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause?”
In the Governor’s press conference he made it clear. If you are an elected official, he doesn’t care what you think. You can either join him, or he will do what he wants without you.
For an elected official who didn’t get 50% of the vote to be willing to shove through an unpopular proposal entirely on his own is brazen. We see this brazen disregard for elected legislators in both his Medicaid vetoes and ethics commission veto.
This year in Richmond, legislators dealt with a Governor who took a very hands-off approach to legislating. The signals he gave were that he would leave the legislating up to the General Assembly and act on bills as he received them.
On Medicaid expansion, he was largely absent. He did very little to offer compromises and solutions to concerns. He made it clear that he wanted it but stayed out of the debate. His staff did nothing to lobby legislators, and many of his efforts on that front involved shouting and threatening district projects. In fact, it was a Republican who proposed the two compromises on Medicaid expansion.
As the General Assembly session closed without a budget, there was no pressure from the Governor to pass a budget. Instead, he took a my way or the highway approach. He left negotiations up to the General Assembly, offered no counter proposals, and did nothing while Democrat Senators refused to meet with Republicans in the House to talk about the budget.
Now, after being absent on an issue where public opinion was trending away from him, he decides to berate House Republicans for “inaction” and to implement Medicaid expansion on his own….continued