Our Voices Arkansas

The Voices of Grassroots Conservatives Across Arkansas

Nov 12, 2016

State GOP Allows Democrat Majority on Revenue/Tax Committee

After Tuesday’s election, Republican lawmakers and voters were pleasantly surprised the GOP increased its majority positions in both the Arkansas House and Senate — Arkansas voters gave the GOP just one vote short of a super-majority in both chambers. You’d assume the GOP would use that voter-mandated power to control the Arkansas Legislature’s working committees,...

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dem-majority-on-rev-taxAfter Tuesday’s election, Republican lawmakers and voters were pleasantly surprised the GOP increased its majority positions in both the Arkansas House and Senate — Arkansas voters gave the GOP just one vote short of a super-majority in both chambers.

You’d assume the GOP would use that voter-mandated power to control the Arkansas Legislature’s working committees, right? Then, how in the world — with January’s General Session looming — could the minority Democrats end up with 11 of 20 seats on the most influential House Revenue & Taxation Committee?

Yep, apparently ignoring the voices of Tuesday’s voters, state Republican lawmakers inexplicably gave away its majority power to the opposition — and this isn’t the first time they’ve squandered the winning political position they were awarded by Arkansas voters. Remember the unholy Republican-Democrat alliance that brought us the Obamacare Private Option after conservatives gave the state GOP its majorities in 2012?

It seems state GOP leadership is again more interested in ‘reaching across the aisle’ for support instead of using the majority power they’ve been given by their conservative base.

Arkansas’ Republican Lt. Governor Tim Griffin was livid, immediately scolding those Republicans who are “doing what they’ve always done” while explaining what conservatives can do to support our GOP votes at the ballot box:

This is pretty much common sensee … The voters have given Republicans control and say “Here’s the majority, we want your policies.” And we’re actually saying “Hey I appreciate it, but we’re gonna give that power to the Democrats.”

It’s an affront to the voters. And make no mistake, when voters judge you on whether you did what you said you’re gonna do, they’re not gonna give you a pass because you gave your power away to the Democrats to run the committees! It’s ridiculous!

It’s real simple. You just take the percentage of what we have in the bodies (the House and the Senate) and you make the committees reflect that. Because what they (Democrats) do is, they look and see what our priority is before the session, then they jam the committees that can block it.

That’s what they did with education reform and school choice in the House last time, it’s what they did in the Senate with tort reform (State Agencies Committee) last time, it’s what they’re doing this time. AND WE’RE LETTING THEM DO IT!

We have got to quit talking and worrying about “how we’ve always done things” or “how we currently do things.” The only question we should be asking in state government…well, in a lot of things… is “How should we be doing things?”

Our motto is “the People rule” in Arkansas, right? Our motto is not “the People rule, except when the People want Republicans to control (the) Revenue & Tax (Committee).” We should have done this the minute we took over (in 2012)!

This is up to the People to make their voice known, because to a lot of people this is just inside baseball that nobody knows about. We gotta make it known.

You’re gonna have to change the rules. This lies with the voters. Voters need to be calling their state reps, their state senators and saying, “You know, I never knew ya’ll picked them (the committees) that way. Why are you doing that? You gotta stop that! This is ridiculous.”

Forget “how we’ve always done it,” how should we do it? If the way we used to do it, if parts of that earn their way into today, great! But if they don’t make sense then fix it, change it!

The county committees, the Republicans, leadership, they need to weigh in, the party needs to weigh in, grassroots need to weigh in, tea party, everybody! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! Let’s do reform!

Not even a week has passed since voters gave a clear choice to state Republicans by overwhelmingly supporting Donald Trump, an outsider, for President. Arkansas taxpaying voters are sick and tired of our GOP-led government “going along to get along” with the Democrats by doing the same things it’s always done and getting the same results. It IS ridiculous!

Will the state’s GOP finally wake up and use the power voters bestowed on them to make real and substantial changes? You can make the difference, just like we did at the ballot box on Tuesday: get busy talking to your Republican state Representatives and state Senators about this and demand the accountability we voters deserve!

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