PA GOP: Rendell and House Democrats Play Budget Games

Member Group : News Releases

HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason is appalled by the way Gov. Ed Rendell and Democrats in Harrisburg have handled this year’s state budget negotiations. Democrats in Harrisburg have stayed true to their Party’s principles of higher taxes and more spending by rejecting the Republican Senate’s fiscally responsible budget bill, Senate Bill 850, balances the budget and does not raise taxes. Rumors continue that Democrats are considering an increase in the Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax (PIT) to cover their out-of-control thirst for spending more taxpayer dollars.

"This year’s state budget battle may be the clearest example of where the Republican and Democrat Parties stand as it relates to the economy," Gleason said. "While Republicans presented a fiscally responsible budget that balanced the state budget by living within our means and not raising taxes, Gov. Ed Rendell and his Democrat counterparts refuse to prioritize funding and are seeking ways to raise taxes, taking more money out of the wallets of hardworking Pennsylvanians, in order to meet their special interest budget requests.

"Gov. Ed Rendell is continuing the strategy he has employed for six straight years, which consists of delaying negotiations as long as possible and pushing through tax increases, excessive borrowing and spending programs at the last minute. With 20 days till end of the fiscal year, the Governor is the touring the state in support of higher taxes, and has yet to propose a fully-funded, balanced budget."

On Monday, Democrat members of the state House Appropriations Committee chose to cling to the hope that the Governor will offer a state budget with major tax increases rather than support our State Senate’s fiscally responsible budget bill. In a party-line vote, the committee voted 20-14 against the Senate Republicans’ budget proposal that balanced the state budget by reigning in spending and did not include a single tax increase. The Senate proposal cut $1.7 billion out of the Governor’s original budget proposal and has been widely applauded as being the appropriate course to take in these troubling economic times. Meanwhile, with only a handful of days left to complete the budget before the end of the fiscal year, Democrats have not offered a proposal and the Governor is already threatening state employees with furloughs.

Gleason continued, "In addition, I find it sad that Gov. Ed Rendell continues to use the threat of furloughing state employees using them as pawns in his budget negotiations. These individuals are working to make ends meet like so many other hardworking Americans and have no involvement with the Democrat’s inability to submit a timely budget proposal. If anyone should go without pay it should be the Governor and all of the Democrat legislators who have brought this process to a halt."