from Rep. Kristine Howard (D-167):
If you thought the worst of the bad news you would hear on Groundhog Day was that the rodent prognosticator from Punxatawney saw its shadow and we can expect six more weeks of winter, think again. The Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are not letting us off that easy. Like the 1993 Groundhog Day movie, Republican representatives seem trapped in their own cycle of repeating history and, unfortunately, we are stuck with them.
Here we go again.
For example, take Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-12). He is resurrecting his Right to Bear Arms Protection Act. In a co-sponsorship memorandum he states, “In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation which would prohibit the enforcement of any new federal restriction, prohibition or registration for firearms, magazines, and ammunition.” It was a bad bill last session and even worse now in the wake of a seditious assault on our nation’s capital by a mob of rioters, many armed to their teeth.
Let us not forget Representative Stephanie Borowicz (R-76) and her anti-abortion Heartbeat Bill. “In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation which will shift our focus on abortion and abortion law to focus on protecting the baby. My legislation has been recognized nationally as the Heartbeat Bill,” according to Mrs. Borowicz. Given the current 6-3 split on the United States Supreme Court, it is critical this bill never makes it past the Governor’s desk.
And there is Representative Jerry Knowles (R-124) and his Freedom of Representation Act. Mr. Knowles tells us, “In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that will give public employees the freedom to choose their workplace representation.” Do not be deceived by the title. This is a 100% union busting bill. It is “right to work” for public employees intended to take away their collective bargaining rights.
Pandering to their base
The examples here are only a small sample of legislation Republicans hope will find new life in this session. Their cynical pursuit of these base-tantalizing bills is nothing more than political theater and a waste of time because Governor Wolf will reject them with his veto pen and the Republicans know it.
When I first ran for the legislature, I had it in my head that I would be spending time in a law library working on positive, proactive legislation that would improve the lives of my constituents and the majority of Pennsylvanians. Little did I realize at the time how important and time consuming it was going to be to vote against the wingnut legislation brought forward by my Republican colleagues playing to the minority opinions of their base voters.
And, I underestimated the recalcitrance of Republicans who steadfastly stonewall nearly all bills brought to the table by Governor Wolf or my Democratic colleagues, no matter how popular the legislation may be with large majorities of Pennsylvania voters.
Other than that, Happy Groundhog Day!