Wash­ing­ton State House Speak­er Frank Chopp, who rep­re­sents Seat­tl’s 43rd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict along with Jamie Ped­er­sen, has just issued a state­ment blast­ing Sen­ate Repub­li­cans and their three col­lab­o­ra­tors (who call them­selves Democ­rats) for hijack­ing the Leg­is­la­ture’s upper cham­ber and advanc­ing their own back­room bud­get to the floor for imme­di­ate adop­tion. Here is what he has to say:

The Sen­ate Repub­li­cans have exer­cised the worst abuse of pow­er I have ever wit­nessed in the Leg­is­la­ture. It says some­thing about them that the minute they gained pow­er, they abused it.

They imme­di­ate­ly moved to run over the minor­i­ty on the floor by deny­ing them the right to even see the bud­get bill before ask­ing them to vote on it.

They imme­di­ate­ly turned their backs on the rights of the peo­ple by dis­miss­ing all calls for pub­lic tes­ti­mo­ny. Yes, the par­ty that reg­u­lar­ly decries the lack of trans­paren­cy in the leg­is­la­ture cut the pub­lic out of the process completely.

As for their bud­get pro­pos­al, from what lit­tle we’ve heard, it shreds the safe­ty net, elim­i­nates state food assis­tance, hous­ing and med­ical care for the dis­abled, and con­tin­ues the Repub­li­can war on women by elim­i­nat­ing fam­i­ly plan­ning grants.

Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire has not issued a for­mal state­ment on the coup on the Sen­ate, but in con­ver­sa­tions with reporters she made it clear she, too, was dis­gust­ed. “I am cha­grined that they’re over there right now work­ing on some­thing I’ve nev­er seen, the mem­bers have nev­er seen — mem­bers on both par­ties have nev­er seen, and they’re going to take a vote tonight?” she told the press out­side of Speak­er Chop­p’s office. “This is not how we do busi­ness in Wash­ing­ton State.”

In a few hours, assum­ing that Sen­a­tors Jim Kas­ta­ma, Rod­ney Tom, and Tim Shel­don con­tin­ue to vote along­side their fel­low con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­cans, the Sen­ate will be on the verge of pass­ing a destruc­tive bud­get that destroys vital pub­lic ser­vices under the Orwellian cloak of sustainability.

But House Democ­rats, capa­bly led by Speak­er Chopp, are mak­ing it clear they con­sid­er the Sen­ate Repub­li­cans’ pro­pos­al a nonstarter.

If that be the case, then there will be no agree­ment on any bud­get any time soon, let alone before the reg­u­lar ses­sion is due to end next Thursday.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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