Just one time….

William Wallace definitely had it worse; but as a like-minded, freshman colleague told me today when I asked his thoughts before starting the day “I’d just like to win one of these battles for once.”

Today, more of the same.

Nothing major. Just billions of dollars being spent with every House member having PLENTY of time to digest it all (Tongue firmly planted in cheek for those that didn’t read into that). I mean, afterall, we got a couple pages of handouts with numbers on it at lunch. Everyone had a quick bite to eat (Republican Caucus had Chickfila – were they trying to win me over with that one??? Nice call I might add. They almost had me but I stayed strong) and in about 3 hours (including eating) the House passed a budget (with Senate amendments and/or agreements worked out between a few budget writers) that I’m willing to bet not one member (outside of some of the budget writers) could even tell you what it did…other than “spend the stimulus”.

One thing is for sure, we’re heading for a legal battle and….should the SC Supreme Court say the legislature can NOT spend the money and only the Governor can….whew….lookout because that “chaos budget” is much worse for education, corrections, law enforcement and others than the compromise we offered today.

For the record, to be fair to all – we moved to adjourn debate on our amendment for 24 hours just like we did the amendment that passed earlier. Members should have time to digest both proposals before casting their vote on behalf of the 30,000 voters in their community and the 4 million residents of our state. Both motions to adjourn were defeated.

As I said in my floor speech, whether you’re FOR the stimulus or AGAINST it; shouldn’t House members have more than a few hours to figure it out? Remember, the House passed “our version” weeks ago and the Senate changed it “a lot”. So, shouldn’t we get a night to sleep on it and maybe review it so we’d even know what questions to ask? Heck, even Senator McConnell gave the Senate the weekend to mull over the same proposal (presented by Senators Ryberg and Davis).

C’mon, Nathan. That’s just crazy talk to allow ya’ll time to review it. Why should SC members have any more time than the guys/gals in Washington when they voted on it? Just pass it so you can be done with this year’s session next Thursday!

To be fair, I even said most folks probably wouldn’t read the entire thing. Heck, it’s a snoozer for sure but at least review SOME of it and talk with your constituents or find out enough to ask significant questions.

Of course, since the outcome in Columbia is almost always inevitable, maybe members should just keep on taking orders and go-along to get-along?

Awhile back I asked a long-time State House staffer “When do folks get lose their will to fight around here?” He answered “About the third term. They either start going along and playing the game or they decide to get out.”

I can certainly see why that’s the case. Maybe I’m just too stupid and a glutton for punishment?

At least we live for another day in politics and; to be fair, we HAVE won some battle this year. I’ve also seen a “movement” that is growing. More noticeably in the Senate (where Republicans supported the Senate version of proposal we tried today by a vote of 13-11).

Of course, I’m wondering if any of those reforms/safeguards we put in the House Budget when we voted 108-8 to use the stimulus even made it? Wouldn’t know because we couldn’t review in the time we were given today.