Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on Wednesday urged Virginians to contact Democratic senators and ask them to put politics behind them and work on a two-year state budget.
In a statement, McDonnell called Democrats’ decision to vote against the budget “unprecedented and unacceptable.’’
“They appear willing to jeopardize the timely payment of the salaries of our teachers and police officers, the services our senior citizens depend upon, the resources our universities need to operate, the budgets of local governments, the funding for our prisons and hospitals, and the entire state budget to gain more power,’’ McDonnell said. “They have put political goals of 20 individuals ahead of the collective policy needs of 8 million Virginians.”
Read the full statement below:
“Today, in a straight party line vote, Senate Democrats, attempting to send a partisan message, have rejected the House budget. The House budget passed its chamber with broad bipartisan support (79-21) and garnered unanimous approval from the bipartisan membership of the House Appropriations Committee. Today, that budget was voted down not on policy, but on politics. It was voted down without any debate or amendments. Senate Democrats took the same approach on their own chamber’s budget last week, voting it down in a strict party line action as well. Based on their two votes, Senate Democrats have now left the Commonwealth with no budget, acting much like Senate Democrats in Washington D.C. where there has been no budget for more than 1,000 days. They have put their committee seats ahead of our communities needs. This is unprecedented, and it is unacceptable. It is not the Virginia way.
“For seven weeks I have repeatedly asked Senate Democrats publicly and privately for their input and ideas on the biennial budget. I have held numerous meetings with them. The response has been near silence. Instead, Senate Democrats have repeatedly made clear that their objections to the budget are not based on policy, but politics. They want more seats on committees and more power. They appear willing to jeopardize the timely payment of the salaries of our teachers and police officers, the services our senior citizens depend upon, the resources our universities need to operate, the budgets of local governments, the funding for our prisons and hospitals, and the entire state budget to gain more power. They have put political goals of 20 individuals ahead of the collective policy needs of 8 million Virginians.
“There is a time and a place for politics, but the elections are now over. When we gather in session on Capitol Square, Virginians expect us to put politics aside and do what is right for the Commonwealth as a whole. Today, Senate Democrats owe an explanation to all Virginians as to why they are willing to risk an entire budget because of their own partisan desires. I hope Virginians will contact their Senators who have acted in this unprecedented nature and let them know: it is time for the politics to stop. It is time to get a budget done. The session is set to end in 10 days. We need responsible action now. I call upon my friends in the Senate Democratic Caucus to immediately produce a budget they will support.”