The Senate has failed again in its effort to pass a huge economic development bill that includes an expansion of the Quality Jobs program. The House version of the legislation – HB 191 – was filibustered by opponents who refused to allow the legislation to be voted on.
Following about ten-and-a-half hours of debate that began shortly after 4 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, Senator John Griesheimer (R-Washington) withdrew his bill and placed it on the shelf. As he did so he lashed out at fellow Senators who are refusing to allow the legislation to get an up or down vote.
“I am very disgusted at where we are going,” said Griesheimer as he directed his ire at a couple of Senators who are engaged in the stalling, singling out Senator Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau), who has vowed to kill the bill by talking it to death.
“Basically, the Senate is, in my opinion, being held hostage by one or two people,” said Griesheimer. “No matter what we do, no matter which way we go, no matter how you turn, roadblocks are put up.”
Griesheimer claims he’s had it with this kind of carrying on and is asking his colleagues to take a stand: “A tyranny of the minority is not going to control this chamber – not now, not next year, not the year after that as far as I can help it.” He added, “I really absolutely think this place is going down the tubes unless each and every one of you has got the guts to stand up and say, ‘enough is enough'”
Senate leadership refuses to say the legislation is dead, expressing hope compromise can be reached on a revised version of the legislation.