Skip to main content

Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at CPAC. 19 February 2010.
Gov. Bob McDonnell
Democrats in the Virginia state Senate are making the best use of the fact that they have half the seats in the chamber, even though they're in the minority in full legislature. They're hanging tough on approving Gov. Bob McDonnell's budget in return for Medicaid expansion.
Democrats were emboldened in this effort after a controversial attempt by Senate Republicans to jam a mid-decade gerrymandering plan through the state legislature on the day of President Obama’s second inauguration. That effort failed in the House earlier this week, but only after Democrats had coalesced around a plan to use the state budget as leverage to expedite the Medicaid expansion.

So far that plan has proved effective. On Thursday, the Virginia Senate amended its budget to include a provision green lighting the expansion, while the state simultaneously works to implement federally-approved cost control measures for the program. The budget passed overwhelmingly.

That vote approving the budget was 36-4. Now the Democrats have to be able to repeat that in the House, where their budget proposal would eventually expand Medicaid, conditional on getting federal approval to make program changes, something that the Department of Health and Human Services isn't providing much leeway for.

So here's a case of Democrats taking a policy hostage, and doing it for good policy. U.S. House Democrats could take a lesson or two from them, now that they'll be critical for passing any legislation in that dysfunctional body.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site