While Watching The War Preparations In The Senate, Some May Have Missed The Shot Fired On Ft Sumter

While most fans of Georgia political Schadenfreude were looking for a vote on an obscure Senate rule change to signify the start of Republican civil war within the Senate caucus, the battle appears to have begun on another front.

When Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle “agreed” to a power sharing arrangement prior to the beginning of this session, he did manage to retain the power to appoint conferees to negotiate with the House over final versions of bills.

When the supplemental budget was passed earlier this year, the Senate chose to “agree” to the House version, rather than to appoint conferees.  This highly unusual move, essentially giving up the ability to negotiate for Senate priorities over house priorities, received a little backroom chatter but not much public notice.

Today, shortly after emerging from a couple of hours of a “contentious” caucus meeting, Cagle appointed Senators Jack Hill, Ross Tolleson, and Renee Unterman to negotiate on behalf of the Senate.

Tradition has been that the Appropriations Chairman (Hill), along with the President Pro Tem and Majority Leader negotiate the budget on behalf of the Senate.   The belief behind this appointment tradition is that Leadership has been involved in all conversations throughout the year covering all Senate priorities, not just those that go through the Appropriations Committee, and thus are best prepared for the “big picture” when finalizing the budget.

Cagle, instead, chose not to appoint Senators Tommie Williams nor Chip Rogers.  They are, after all, the ones now exercising the majority of the powers Cagle used to have.

Whether this was Cagle’s plan since he was stripped of power, or a reaction to today’s caucus meeting, one item is very clear.  On Day 37, with only 3 days left during which most significant business in the legislature will be conducted, the petty battles within the Senate Republican Caucus have consumed much time and energy of all participants.  Time that should have been spent on tax reform, transportation, …. well, damn near anything other than this crap.

7 comments

  1. Bloodhound says:

    The President Pro Tem & company’s exercise in election nullification, hopefully, will end the demise of his grip on the Leadership reigns.

    While I am no fan of the Lt. Governor, Georgians rightfully elected him to he post as President of the Senate & he was taken out of the position after being placed there by the citizens.

    Had the Senate Republican Caucus spent its time working on “tax reform, transportation,….well, damn near anything other than” say, a bill pushed for a decade by the President Pro Tem to allow killing deer with their head in a bucket of corn, then they damn well may have been able to accomplish meaningful work.

    Yesterday, after the more than 2 hour delay for the caucus meeting, another hour plus was wasted as the Senate debated the Senator from the 19th’s pet deer slaughter bill!

    Our state faces economic crisis and yet when the Rules Committee met on Wednesday to set the Calender for Thursday with orders to set 10 bills before the Senate, the President Pro Tem entered the meeting after the calender was set and added his pet. Was there no more significant work to be done?

    Obviously the Senate Leadership thought not.

    Don’t preach to us that those who oppose this poor quality of leadership are the root of the current failure to preform. I see it as promise that someone may actually take the reigns that will act like the conservatives they all promise they’ll be on election day.

    The current Senate Leadership has certainly not!

  2. Calypso says:

    Republicans control the Governor’s Mansion. Republicans super-control the Senate. Republicans super-control the House.

    Since Democrats are hard to find anywhere, Republicans must feel compelled to turn on one another. Eating their own. I guess politics, by nature, requires one group to be in opposition to another. Since there is no longer any ‘Us v. Them’ to deal with, the Republicans have made it ‘Us v. Us’.

    Reminds me of the 2000’s when Republicans had the White House and both Houses of Congress. They couldn’t get a damn thing accomplished.

    I’m sure the handful of Democrats left in state government are getting a chuckle out of the Republican cannibalism, friendly-fire and ‘fragging’ going on now, except when they remember that they too are residents of this state. Then the story turns more somber. For all of us.

  3. debbie0040 says:

    Bloodhound, the GOP stripped Mark Taylor of his power of Lt. Governor after the GOP assumed control of the Senate. Did you also disagree with that move?

    • Bloodhound says:

      Debbie, I have clearly stated my position. The voters in the State of Georgia empower the Lt. Governor and his duties include the power as President of the Senate.

      Certainly, the members of the Senate may caucus together legally, as they have in the past, and as they did yesterday.

      If the actors in yesterday’s revolution are to be labeled as “traitors” so should be the precursor usurpers.

  4. debbie0040 says:

    I think Galloway may have had some facts wrong on the attempted coup. If a Senator was not present at the vote, does not mean they wanted to give power back to the Lt. Governor. It just means they were tied up with other business

    • Charlie says:

      I know at least one, and possibly as many as three, were presenting Senate bills to House committees at the time. They weren’t ducking anything. They were among the few who were actually occupied with the people’s business, rather than trying to play petty internal politics when it’s “go time”.

      • GaConservative23 says:

        Well the fact that the Rules voted down the motion yesterday 13-3 demonstrates, at least to me, that the “coup” was a little over-hyped.

        But it is interesting to note that two of the Senators who didn’t vote to engross on the Senate floor were then appointed by Cagle to the Conference Committee…

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