In a press release issued earlier today, the Virginia House GOP leadership makes a clear statement that they won’t be making a deal on Medicaid anytime soon.
Matthew Moran, the talented press aide to House Speaker Bill Howell, just released a statement indicating that House Republicans are moving to extend the current session by 30 days beyond tomorrow’s expiration of the regular session.
Extending the current legislative session demonstrates our firm commitment to completing the budget in a timely manner. It gives negotiators a firm deadline, allows us to keep the budget in its current posture and motivates all parties to stay engaged,” said Leader Cox. “This is the most procedurally-sound path forward.”
Although the release says that Republicans “have offered to compromise” on the current budget impasse surrounding Medicaid expansion, the GOP legislators continue to insist that Medicaid expansion either be left to the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, or dealt with in a special session AFTER a budget has been passed.
Turning the screws on legislators a bit, this move—if passed by 2/3rds of both houses—would deny legislators any per diem allowance during the extended session. An extended session also means that no General Assembly members would be allowed to campaign or raise funds (a direct hindrance on Del. Barbara Comstock and Del. Bob Marshall, the chief rivals for the 10th District Congressional nomination).
While Speaker Howell likely has the votes to carry this in the House, passage in the Senate is anything but certain. We’re hearing the more likely outcome is that the Senate refuses to adopt this, forcing the current session into adjournment by Saturday. This would then prompt a subsequent call for a special session to handle the budget.