Republican House members have had enough of the circus.
From Rep. Sam Smith, House Republican leader:
House Republicans refuse to attend another House Democrat and administration-orchestrated hearing on increasing spending beyond what the economy affords us, House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson County) said today.
"The Commonwealth tax revenues are down $3 billion, and the administration and House Democrats are pushing to spend more and more money which the state does not have, unless we take it out of taxpayers' pockets," Smith said. "Today's House Education Committee hearing, along with the Appropriations hearings last week, are being aimed to increase state spending regardless of the consequences.
"More money is not always the answer, but higher taxes today will affect every Pennsylvania family. Where are the public hearings about the effects higher taxes will have on the people of Pennsylvania?
"Tax hearings are not being scheduled because the Democrats may not care about the impact. Every week, several state agencies have been putting out 'scare' press releases about services or programs which they claim will end if the Senate's budget bill is enacted, even though the spending matches actual state revenues. Next, we'll hear about the State Police being unable to fuel their vehicles or purchase ammunition.
"As to today's Education Committee hearing, the testimony being offered will be exactly what has been said before. This is obviously a lobbying effort coordinated by the administration, and it is clear they are using taxpayer dollars to lobby for more taxpayer dollars.
"Last week, the testimony of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) stated as fact the Punxsutawney Area School District will be closing an elementary school because of the Senate-passed budget. That is untrue; this closing has been in the works for several years. PSEA either left out this fact and is purposefully misrepresenting facts to scare people, or they have no idea what they are talking about. In either case, this is highly disingenuous.
"What else is being said that is untrue?
"House Republicans will not participate in hearings to trump up reasons for a major tax increase."