Skubick: Leaving it up to the Republicans for a road plan?

After laboring long and hard to pass a controversial 15 cent a gallon gas tax hike recently, Sen. Arlan Meekhof saw his labor go for naught at the hands of his GOP colleagues in the Michigan House last week. 

Another guy might have been dejected but not the West Olive legislator who was sanguine instead. 

“We’re trying to solve the problem,” the Senate GOP leader reflects while acknowledging that each house will have different “ideas and avenues to fix the roads" and this is a “great opportunity to watch the process work.” 

Process work? 

Rep. Tim Greimel, who heads the Democrats over the house, complains the GOP has controlled the “process” for four and a half years and “it shouldn’t take anywhere near that amount of time to get this done.” 

Adding to his angst Mr. Greimel was also grumbling about the quick adjournment in the house last week when instead of voting on a road fix, Republicans went home instead. 

“It’s really embarrassing … it’s really outrageous,” he whacks House GOP Speaker Kevin Cotter and company. 

There’s an old saying in politics, when you have the votes you vote, when you don’t, you don’t. And the Rs don’t. 

Mr. Cotter ran a reduced gas tax hike up the flag pole the other day and 56 Republicans refused to salute. 

Rep. Al Pscholka (R-West Michigan) was quizzed on how many yes votes there are for new road revenue. 

“I’m not sure we’re there yet,” he offered in the understatement of the summer. “We’ll have more (votes) probably a little later this summer.” 

Mr. Greimel says they could get to 56 right now if only the Rs would open the door to some Democratic input. The Oakland County Democrat reports he’s called Mr. Cotter twice about working on this together, and got no where fast. 

Asked if it was time to invite the two Democratic leaders into the closed doors sessions with the governor and two GOP leaders, Mr. Meekhof demurred. 

“The citizens elected Republicans and want Republicans to solve the problem.” 

Without Democrats? 

“If we have, to,” he reflects. 

Popular wisdom, for what it is worth in town, suggests they will have to if there is any hope of doing something. 
 


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