Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe listens to U.S. President Barack Obama as he hosts a meeting with the Democratic Governors Association in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, February 21, 2014.     REUTERS/Larry Downing   (UNITED STAT

Virginia Republicans are so intent on denying health care to 400,000 of their constituents, they'll go to any lengths. They possibly bribed a Democratic legislator—a deciding vote on Medicaid expansion—to leave office with the promise of a job for himself and a judgeship for his daughter. They passed a budget with a provision explicitly preventing Gov. Terry McAuliffe from acting on his own to expand Medicaid. Then they essentially broke into his office to deliver the budget on a Sunday, Fathers Day, to give McAuliffe less time to review and sign it.
At the urging of House Speaker William J. Howell, the clerk’s office of the House of Delegates enlisted the help of the Capitol Police to enter Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s unoccupied, secure suite of offices on a Sunday afternoon to deliver the state budget.

The highly unusual entry on June 15 took place without the permission of administration officials or the knowledge of the Virginia State Police, which is in charge of protecting the governor. McAuliffe was not in the building.

That's a nice way of saying they broke in. That's how the governor's chief of staff sees it in a scathing letter sent to all parties concerned, including the chief of the Capitol Police, clarifying "that under no circumstances are you or any of your officers authorized to allow employees of the General Assembly to enter the secure areas of the governor’s office without my express permission, or the express permission of Suzette Denslow, the governor’s deputy chief of staff." These Virginian Republicans would be right at home in the Mississippi tea party.

McAuliffe did sign the budget, using his line-item veto to excise the parts that said he could not act unilaterally on Medicaid. In response, "Howell employed a procedural move during a special session Monday to overrule two of the governor’s line item vetoes, temporarily thwarting McAuliffe’s plan to expand Medicaid without legislative approval."

“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,” McAuliffe said in a statement Monday.
That's an understatement. It's callous enough for them to continue to deny the expansion. It's downright despicable that they'll skirt the law to do it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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