“The future of the Democratic process is at stake.” Those words were pronounced by Indiana’s House Majority Leader, Brian Bosma, last week in reference to the continued walk-out of 39 Democrats from their state legislative seats.
The Democrats have managed to shut down the House for a month and win concessions from Republicans on labor and education bills. As long as they hang together, the legislature is at an impasse.
Ted Hayes talked with Representative Robert Behning (R-District 91) to find out the attitude of a ranking Republican on the walkout. Behning is the Republican steering the education bill through the House. Ted asked him his general view of the walk-out.
“Refusing to give up majority and quorum is something you use very judiciously and use it rarely on issues where you think the Majority has stomped on your rights as a Minority,” said Representative Behning. “I don’t believe that we had actually stomped on anybody’s rights, especially if you think that they violate the constitution, but beyond that, it’s something that we use very judiciously and should have never had such a broad spectrum of things.”
Behning says the attitude of the Republicans has hardened as time goes by.
“I know our caucus is committed to making sure the process works the way our Constitutional Fathers intended. We want to give the Minority the opportunity to vote and participate, but we’re not going to give them the ability to dictate to the elected Majority, that was selected by the people of the State of Indiana, the ability to tell us, or Hoosiers, what will be heard or what will not be heard in the Indiana House.”