PA Lawmakers Growing Frustrated With “Partisan Gridlock”

Erie News Now Image.

HARRISBURG, PA. (Erie News Now) – Tuesday in Harrisburg, some Pennsylvania lawmakers expressed their frustration over partisan gridlock in the state legislature. 

There were nearly 3,000 bills introduced in 2021, however, only 100 passed.

Of those that passed, 20% dedicate or name roads and bridges around the commonwealth.

Some lawmakers are growing frustrated and say partisan gridlock is to blame.

“They really are spending a lot of time doing nothing up here, while they’re wasting taxpayers’ money,” said Representative Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny).

Long-time Democratic Representative, Tony DeLuca, called out the legislature’s inability to work together for the people of Pennsylvania.

He says the Republican majority has a responsibility and are falling short.

“The majority party should be listening to other voices so that we can have one Pennsylvania, not red versus blue,” said DeLuca.

DeLuca says he’s frustrated with the lack of legislation making it to the floor for a vote. He’s also frustrated with the small number of Democrat bills that actually pass.

According to DeLuca, only 14 Democratic bills have passed the House this session. Republicans on the other hand, have passed 262.

DeLuca says there are a number of bills with bipartisan interest that should be passed. One of them being House Bill 318, his “no outside-income bill.”

“I believe that any outside employment by members is a conflict of interest,” said DeLuca. “I guess they don’t believe that they’re full-time legislators,” he added.

Some Republicans, like Representative Clint Owlett say both parties have a responsibility.

“Everybody just needs to press pause and look at what we’re really here to do. We’re here to work for the people and come up with solutions,” said Owlett.

Owlett was a key player in the recent bipartisan broadband bill. He says bipartisanship is about making compromises.

“Are you going to get everything you want? Absolutely not. Similar in the broadband bill, I went into those negotiations asking for a lot of things. I didn’t get everything I wanted,” said Owlett.

After nearly 40 years in the House, DeLuca says both parties must do better.

“And unfortunately, we’re playing too much politics up here on both sides. It’s time that the citizens speak up,” said DeLuca.


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