Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) issued the below statement today following Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) throwing in another wrinkle to the GOP’s ongoing leadership battle by suggesting a change to the House rules that would let him assume control of the chamber. The House nears its 50th day without a speaker following the departure of Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), who resigned amid an FBI investigation on April 12.
“House Democrats have been consistent in calling for an end to Republican gridlock that has kept us from spending time on important issues like job creation, growing our economy and improving people’s lives.
“The fact remains there are ongoing FBI investigations into alleged criminal activity among state lawmakers. We do not yet have the answers as to who is involved or how deep the scandal goes, and until we do, we remain focused on supporting a Democratic nominee for speaker who will bring all of us together rather than continue to conduct business as usual amid a cloud of suspicion and uncertainty. We don’t need someone simply to be responsible for managing the process—we need a leader who will be accountable for the institution.
“Giving members ultimatums and breaking the rules is how we found ourselves in the midst of unprecedented dysfunction and the most serious political scandal in Ohio history in the first place. This ongoing shutdown is a direct result of years of unchecked one-party rule here in Columbus, and the Republicans who made this mess have to own the responsibility of fixing it. GOP leadership placing blame on anyone but themselves for the ongoing chaos at the Statehouse is unfair to their constituents and Ohio taxpayers.”