UPDATE: Gov. McAuliffe Responds After House Tosses Out Two of His Vetoes
Richmond, VA - The Virginia House of Delegates threw out Governor Terry McAuliffe's line-item veto Monday, his effort to save Medicaid expansion. One veto tossed out by the Speaker of the House was of a Republican-backed amendment aimed at preventing the Governor from expanding Medicaid without legislative approval. He ruled that it was not a lawful amendment, therefore there was no vote sent to the Senate. The speaker ruled that the Constitution did not give the Governor the right to veto this matter. "The amount of money that we have is limited. So if we voted to extend Medicaid, we'd be voting for a tax increase," said Republican Delegate Manoli Loupassi of the 68th district. From here, the governor can go to court and claim that his veto was proper and ask them to declare the law his way. Otherwise it budget stays as is, and it for now looks like the governor will not get to expand Medicaid. Senator Steve Newman made the following statement regarding today's results: "Tonight the General Assembly struck back at this Governor's attempt to unlawfully expand Obama care and Medicaid. Our founders gave us a constitution for a purpose. Now the matter will likely go to the courts; but the issue not is much larger than Medicaid it's about the foundation of our Republic, it's about our ability to check executive power." Governor Terry McAuliffe also made the following statement: "I am pleased that the General Assembly upheld six of the eight vetoes that I applied to the budget without controversy. "With respect to the Speaker's ruling on my veto of the Stanley floor amendment, I am continually surprised and disappointed by the lengths to which Republicans in the House of Delegates will go to prevent their own constituents from getting access to health care. Instead of putting all of my vetoes through the process prescribed by the Constitution of Virginia, House Republicans robbed the voters of their voice by using a procedural gimmick to obstruct the normal legislative process where this veto was concerned. If my veto was as objectionable as House leadership claimed, they should not have had any difficulty overriding it in both chambers. Instead, the Speaker elected to exercise powers that the Constitution of Virginia reserves solely for members of the Judicial Branch. "As my team and I evaluate the House's failure to override my veto, I remain focused on expanding access to health care for Virginia residents, and I intend to move forward on that goal as I have promised. Virginians elect their leaders to act in their best interests, not to bog good public policy down in parliamentary gimmicks. "With respect to the his ruling on the judges veto, Speaker Howell once again resorted to procedural tricks in order to prevent the representatives of the people of Virginia from voting on the vetoes that I lawfully submitted to the General Assembly. I have no objection to the General Assembly's authority to appoint these judges while in session; my veto was aimed at defending the powers of the Governor against an unconstitutional overreach by the legislature. It is unfortunate that the Speaker elected to cast these judicial slots into unnecessary uncertainty, particularly after I proposed a straightforward legislative remedy this afternoon. My team and I will evaluate the Speaker's ruling on this veto and I will take the actions I deem best for the people who elected me to serve."