Greg Habeeb, 8th District representative to the House of Delegates didn't make any bones about it, "This is a governor who literally does not believe he needs a legislature and does not believe he's bound by the rule of law and the judiciary. You can call that whatever you want, I view that as tyranny," he said.
Habeeb clarified his point even further. He went on to say that the Commonwealth has spent hundreds of years setting an example of democracy to the country and the world. He said if Terry McAuliffe brings Medicaid Expansion without legislative approval, than it's "like a monarchy".
It was anger all around today.
This morning a furious Governor Terry McAuliffe says he will sign Virginia's budget bill, but not without some controversial vetoes first.
Many of those vetoes will likely force new showdowns with the General Assembly. McAuliffe announced the two-year, $96 billion budget in a news conference Friday at the Capitol.
"Let me be crystal clear," said McAuliffe. "I am moving forward to get healthcare for our Virginia citizens. I intend to sign this legislation but not without using my constitutional authority to make several line item vetoes."
McAuliffe called the General Assembly's refusal to include Medicaid expansion in the budget "unconscionable."
He's ordered the state secretary of health to begin moving forward on a plan to expand health care coverage without the General Assembly's blessing.
Here is the news release from the Governor's Office:
Over the past six days, my finance team and I have carefully reviewed the Biennial Budget that was transmitted to my office last Sunday by the General Assembly.
This budget was completed almost three months late, after the Republican leadership of the House of Delegates stubbornly refused to take even the most modest steps toward closing the health care coverage gap.
Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth know that the lack of health care is hurting families, stunting economic growth, damaging hospitals and clinics, and causing too many of our citizens to suffer needlessly.
It is unconscionable that one of the wealthiest states in one of the wealthiest nations in the world does not provide health care to its needy citizens, particularly when we have already paid for it.
Providing health care to people who are sick is a moral imperative.
Time and time again, a bipartisan coalition in the Senate and I offered the House Republicans the opportunity to compromise. They had the chance to come to the table and help fix this serious problem, and every single time, they said NO.
When I took the oath of office in January, I had just come off a campaign in which I ran and won on a platform of expanding Medicaid services to 400,000 Virginians. This was a program just like 27 other states have enacted.
Some of the most conservative Governors in the nation have implemented this program. Not only did the Republican leadership refuse to compromise, they refused to even discuss the issue.
My team and I then worked very closely with Republican members of the Senate on a compromise plan called Marketplace Virginia.
As with any compromise, I didn’t like every part of Marketplace Virginia, but I knew that it was our best chance to get a plan through the House of Delegates, and to thereby help those Virginians who desperately need health care.
Presented with the idea of Marketplace Virginia, the Republican leadership of the House of Delegates responded with a resounding NO.
Again, they rejected compromise.
When the General Assembly failed to complete its work on time and adjourned March 8th without a budget, I offered yet another compromise.
I proposed to close the health care coverage gap with a two-year pilot program and received a written commitment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services affirming that Virginia could withdraw from the expanded program at any point we wanted with no ongoing obligation to the beneficiaries.
Once again, the Republican leadership of the House of Delegates said NO and refused to compromise.
They chose instead to subject our citizens to a protracted budget stalemate that was unfair to local governments, veterans, law enforcement officers, our state workforce and most importantly the vulnerable men, women and children who depend on state government for important human services.
Then, last Thursday night, after the Senate of Virginia acceded to the demands of the House to “decouple” health care from the budget, and to drop Marketplace Virginia completely, the House again said NO.