Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Speaker-designee M. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Majority Leader-designee C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Republican Caucus Chairman Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), and House Majority Whip Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas) released the following statement Friday on Governor McAuliffe’s veto record.
“Yesterday, Governor Terry McAuliffe broke the record for most vetoes by a governor during a single term. This new record is the disappointing result of four years of failed leadership by a disengaged governor, and is certainly not something to be celebrated. It’s clear that he prefers Washington-style executive action instead of the dialogue and collaboration that Virginians expect and deserve.
“Four years ago, Governor McAuliffe was sworn into office pledging to be a bipartisan governor and to work with the General Assembly. But as his term comes to an end, it is obvious that this was nothing more than a political platitude.
“The McAuliffe-Northam administration has been the most disengaged administration we have ever worked with. They focused on headline-grabbing political stunts like kegerators and cocktail parties, instead of forging meaningful relationships with legislators. Past governors, Republican and Democrat, would work with and allow state government to be a resource to the legislature. But Governor McAuliffe, his cabinet, and his staff, are largely absent during the General Assembly session, choosing to veto bills after-the-fact instead of working productively to get things done.
“The governor vetoed 97 pieces of legislation to date. Only seven of those bills dealt with so-called “social issues.” Over 60 percent of his vetoes were on commonsense bills to make our elections more fair and secure, expand opportunities in education, and strengthen Virginia’s economy by making the Commonwealth more business friendly. As we have seen repeatedly over the last four years, his rhetoric does not match reality.
“Whether it is the legislative process, the interim appointment of a Supreme Court Justice, or his unconstitutional executive action on felon voting rights, we’ve seen time and time again that this governor is incapable of productively engaging with the General Assembly. While we often disagreed with Governor Kaine and Governor Warner, we had productive working relationships with their administrations. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the last four years. Divided government has been the norm over the past two decades of Virginia politics, but this governor has brought a new level of animosity and acrimony than we’ve ever seen.”