Rules fights and insults slow down South Carolina House on next-to-last day

The South Carolina House ground to a halt at times Wednesday on its next-to-the-last day as members fought over rules and traded thinly veiled insults.

Republican Rep. Micah Caskey put on a tin foil hat while at the well to take a swipe at the Freedom Caucus, made up of his party’s most conservative members.

Freedom Caucus member Republican Rep. April Cromer called for a bill that restructured the state’s health agencies that was dozens of pages long to be read. That request would have likely run until the required 5 p.m. Thursday adjournment. But Cromer took back her request when another member invoked a rule that all members, including those who had already left without leave, had to come back.

In between the sparring, the House passed its amendments to the state budget and the health agencies restructuring bill.

“We’re all going to suffer together guys,” Republican House Speaker Murrell Smith said.

The day started to fall apart before lunch, when the Freedom Caucus suggested an amendment to the state budget that would allow gold or silver coins from the U.S. or any other country be accepted as legal tender in South Carolina.

Before a successful challenge that the bill was not germane to the budget, Caskey took the well and put on a hat made of aluminum foil with the Freedom Caucus logo on it.

“I want you to support this amendment because I want you to stop thinking too,” Caskey said, adding that he thought the bill would allow members to trade genie lamps for parking tickets.

Freedom Caucus members objected, saying Caskey was engaging in personal attacks instead of confronting their ideas.

“I see Representative Caskey over here laughing so I assume he has some snide remark,” Freedom Caucus member and Republican Josiah Magnuson said as he spoke from the well.

Conflict between the Freedom Caucus and other Republicans has brewed all session. Mainstream Republicans say their more conservative party members are more determined to score points on social media than governing and trying to defeat other Republicans in primaries.

_____

Republished with permission from The Associated Press.




© Copyright by Extensive-Enterprises 2024. All rights reserved. Staff Login