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Democratic lawmakers blast Speaker Cupp for playing games, refusing to repeal HB 6

Cite Republican efforts to thwart discharge petition, creating unnecessary bureaucracy to complicate the process
August 31, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS— House Democratic lawmakers Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren) today blasted Speaker Robert Cupp (R-Lima) for his refusal to repeal House Bill 6 – the $2 billion corporate bailout bill is at the center of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation into an alleged $60 million racketeering and bribery scheme led by former Republican Speaker Larry Householder. Householder and four associates were arrested and indicted in the alleged scheme.

Speaker Cupp announced today that he would create a House Select Committee on Energy and Policy Oversight.

            “It is obvious now that the Republicans do not actually want to repeal House Bill 6.

House Democrats learned of the creation of this unnecessary level of bureaucracy today along with the rest of the public. This new Committee was announced with no timeline, no membership and no purpose. Despite what they claim at press conferences and on social media, it is now clear that the Republicans have no intention of actually responding to the public’s cries to repeal House Bill 6 and instead they intend to protect it just as they have protected the seat of the disgraced former Speaker who they voted to keep as a member of the House of Representatives.

While they are publicly announcing a bureaucratic slowdown of the repeal process today, the Clerk is also aggressively working to thwart our efforts to file a discharge petition to bring bipartisan legislation to repeal HB 6 to the floor for a vote tomorrow. By requiring that signatures be done in person and not electronically like all other legislation, they are working hard to keep this bill from being brought to the floor in a timely manner.

We don’t need political games right now, we need immediate action. Their unwillingness to act is shameful.”

Reps. Skindell and O’Brien introduced repeal legislation, HB 738, on July 29, where it has yet to be referred to a committee. The Democratic lawmakers planned to use a provision within the House Rules that allows the discharge of a bill from a committee after 30 days of inaction. The discharge petition needs support from a majority of House members and the two have worked throughout the weekend to get enough members to sign on. Democrats had planned to file the petition today so that the bill can be called for a vote during Tuesday’s scheduled session, however, the Clerk has made the process unnecessarily complicated.

Democrats filed a protest of the passage of House Bill 6 on August 11.

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