COLUMBUS –House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today blasted Speaker Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and House Republicans for abruptly ending House session as Democrats readied to offer several measures to repeal House Bill (HB) 6, the $2 billion corporate bailout tied to an ongoing FBI investigation into an alleged $60 million scheme to pass the bill. Former Speaker Larry Householder and several associates were arrested and indicted for their roles in the alleged corruption scheme.
Householder returned to the Statehouse Tuesday after Republicans voted to keep him in the House despite his alleged connection to the largest racketeering and bribery scheme in Ohio history. Householder appeared in House session even though a federal judge ordered him to “avoid all contact directly or indirectly with any person who is or may become a victim or potential witness in the investigation.”
Democrats collected signatures for a discharge petition Tuesday to bring HB 738 to the floor, legislation that would repeal HB 6. They also intended to introduce amendments on the floor to repeal the controversial bill, but Speaker Cupp abruptly ended session before making it even halfway through the scheduled calendar—an unprecedented move intended to block Democrats.
“House Democrats showed up to work for our constituents today. We were ready to address the rent and mortgage crisis, unemployment compensation and recovery from both COVID-19 and the economic crisis that followed. We were also ready to start the process to repeal House Bill 6 as the Republicans have said publicly over and over again that they too are ready to do. When we saw no HB 6 repeal on the agenda, we planned to offer four amendments to four different bills to repeal that problematic legislation. When Republicans learned of our plan, they abruptly and unexpectedly adjourned rather than answer the public’s calls for repeal.
Throwing up road blocks to prevent a vote to repeal this bill speaks volumes. Republicans were never serious about righting the wrongs they perpetrated on Ohio taxpayers. Democrats are committed to seeing this legislation repealed – and we should have done that today.”