WA Rep: Democrat leaders unwilling to take on Inslee’s COVID proclamations

Feb 12, 2021, 12:57 PM

Olympia, Freedom Caucus...

Washington National Guard and Washington State Patrol members surround the Washington State Capitol along with a newly fenced perimeter on January 10, 2021 in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Washington state Republican senators recently announced the formation of the Freedom Caucus, which is meant to speak for individual liberties, more restrained government with lower taxes, and strict adherence to the Constitution.

It was formed in light of how the COVID-19 shutdowns occurred, and includes founding members of the caucus Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, Phil Fortunato of Auburn, Jim McCune of Graham, state Senator Mike Padden of Spokane Valley.

“I think it went back to our frustration with the shutdown of the state and the manner in which it was done. We all wanted safety and good health for our citizens. But the manner seemed pretty heavy handed by the governor,” Senator Padden told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

“It was a kind of a one-man show — command and control — and the Legislature was left out of it,” he said. “And so back in May, we started calling for a special session. And while some of other members of our caucus wanted to do that, there were a number that didn’t want to actually use our leverage to get the special session called, and by that I mean not approve some of the proclamations of the governor.”

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Padden says they didn’t have issue with every proclamation coming down, but didn’t appreciate how the ones that were devastating people most seemed to be put forward without much debate.

“A lot of proclamations we agreed with, to cut down regulation and red tape and stuff. But the only way we were going to get a special session, we felt was if we said no more proclamations and bring the Legislature into it. … But the fact of the matter is, in the meantime, the restaurants were shutting down, people were losing their jobs, fitness centers, … things that could be open safely were not being allowed to do so,” he said.

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“Should the legislative branch be kicked around all the time in favor of of the judicial executive branch? And certainly the Democrat leadership at the Legislature was not standing up to the governor or asserting legislative rights,” Padden added. “… There certainly is some momentum and a few senators here and there, but not the leadership in either the Democrats in the Senate or in the House are willing to take on the governor.”

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