The Washington Post reports that some folks are in a heap of trouble over last week’s Republican response following the State of the Union Address. GOP House Speaker William Howell allowed Governor McDonnell to give the GOP response from the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates. However, Rule 82 forbids the chamber to be used for anything other than House business unless a full vote appoves other use. Speaker Howell did not get the approval of the full house.
According to the Washington Post:
Richard Cranwell, a House member for 30 years and now chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said Howell (R-Stafford) should apologize to the people of Virginia.
“It didn’t sit right with me,” Cranwell said. “That chamber is for the conduct of the people’s business. What Bob McDonnell did there was not part of the people’s business.”
Rule 82 reads: “The Hall of the House of Delegates shall be used for no other purpose than the sessions of the House and for meetings of the committees and members of the legislature on public affairs except by vote of the House or the Rules Committee or with the approval of the Speaker when the House is not in session.”
Howell said he had the authority to allow McDonnell to use the chamber because the speech took place after 10 p.m. when the House had already adjourned for the day.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Howell said. “The guy’s the governor of the state.”
The governor was cheered on by family, friends, supporters and employees. Several Virginia lawmakers said they were concerned that it appeared the Delegate Assembly was cheering on the newly inaugurated governor.
This flap is a little petty isn’t it? Who would have said no? This is just partisan bickering. Time to grow up. On the other hand, if the Rule 82 were in question, then McDonnell could have held the rebuttal in the Governor’s Mansion. The time to voice an objection was before the rebuttal, not after.