The Virginia General Assembly reconvened for a one-day session Wednesday to go over various budgetary amendments. Whatever, right? Well, it ended, and Gov. Tim Kaine is furious.
Why? Because he's chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and some ruffians in his state House of Delegates just voted to reject a major chunk of state relief from President Obama's stimulus package. (Meaning he didn't actually reject anything, but you know how these things go, and he will probably be dubbed a right-wing Satan dictator by MoveOn.org, soon.)
Earlier in the day the state Senate voted 21-19 -- completely along party lines -- to accept $125 million in federal stimulus money for the state's depleting unemployment insurance fund. The Obama Money was contingent on the state expanding unemployment eligibility to part-time workers and those enrolled in certain job training programs, however -- or as the more fiscally stringent folks might call them, "lazy bums."
Republicans, mostly, argued that the expanded unemployment benefits would force the state to raise the unemployment tax on businesses eventually. "Eventually" as in when the economy has recovered and businesses are flush with cash.
"Cycles," they call them.
But the Republicans control the House of Delegates, and the measure fell there, 53-46. Did Tim Kaine somehow expect this to pass? Because he's acting like... he expected it to pass!
A visibly angry Kaine berated legislators after the vote and hinted that he might try to find another way to accept the federal money. "There's an awful lot of people who are hurting in Virginia, and the message to them seemed to be: 'We don't care. Fend for yourself,' " he said.