Mike Browne, Deputy Director
MADISON, Wis. — In front of a room of Republican activists Saturday morning Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald declared Senate Republicans would be “roadblocks” in the budget process. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos chimed in that key parts of Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget would not become law while he was alive. Unbelievably by that same afternoon the GOP duo were complaining to the media that Gov. Evers was not negotiating with them.
“These guys need to get their stories straight,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “It’s ridiculous that Republican legislative leaders vow partisan obstruction to the death one minute and the next accuse people of not negotiating with them.”
During a panel discussion at the Republican Party of Wisconsin convention, Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald declared in his response to a question about the state budget that he and his fellow Republicans, “… are truly the roadblock.”
Not to be outdone by his Republican Senate colleague, Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos vowed a fight to the death over key provisions of Gov. Evers’ budget, saying they would only be enacted, “… over our dead bodies.”
Eicher noted both statements from the legislative leaders can’t be true at the same time, and that the evidence suggests that partisan obstruction is the true goal of the Republicans. Mere days after Gov. Evers defeated Scott Walker, legislative Republicans began conspiring to undermine the election results and the will of the people with an unprecedented lame duck legislative session.
Republicans also summarily removed over 130 items from Gov. Evers’ budget proposal and are refusing to allow further consideration of the initiatives as part of the Joint Committee on Finance budget deliberations. The list of items slated for removal was literally announced while Vos and Fitzgerald attended a high dollar fundraising event in Washington D.C., hosted by a high-powered lobbying firm whose clients include big pharmaceutical, tobacco, oil, energy and insurance companies.
A number of the provisions of Gov. Evers’ budget have proven to be extremely popular with the vast majority of state residents questioned in polls including 70 percent support for leveraging federal funding to expand access to quality, affordable health care; 73 percent support for increasing investments in K-12 public schools and nearly 80 percent support for helping student loan borrowers refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage.