HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Monday, Dec. 12, a Pennsylvania state representative was sworn in as the majority leader of the state capitol, which typically wouldn’t be unusual. However, both the Republican and Democratic parties have sworn in majority leaders. So what’s going on?
Who’s really in charge?
Brian Cutler (R) and Joanna McClinton (R) both put their hands on the bible and declared themselves the majority leader of the state House.
“It’s the math that would make us a majority,” said Culter.
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Two Democratic resignations and a death will leave 101 Republicans and 99 Democrats until special elections fill in the empty ranks.
“If there’s a vacancy, that person doesn’t get to vote and it doesn’t count towards the majority,” Cutler added.
However, voters elected 102 Democrats, which the Democratic Party argues is a majority.
According to Democrats, Cutler wants to delay the special elections that will fill the empty roles so Republicans can push “extremist policies.”
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“This is on a glide path to resolution and anything that delays that is unfortunate, is a waste of taxpayer money,” said Appropriations Chairman Rep. Matt Bradford (D).
Republicans say they will elect a speaker on Jan. 3, 2023, which will allow them to move constitutional amendments that Democrats don’t like and Governor-elect Josh Shapiro won’t be able to stop.
Bradford argues that voters did not endorse a Republican majority.
“When you come to floor of the House, and you engage in activity in secret and don’t inform other members of what you’re trying to do, that creates a relationship that lacks trust and creates a problem moving forward,” said Cutler.
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The legal fight over who has the power to decide special elections is currently in the court system, which could delay the process even more.