House Dems Accuse GOP of Neglecting Job Creation
Pelath: Infighting over tax cut, Medicaid causing "paralysis"
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) (WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)
Democrats are piling onto the Republican infighting over Governor Pence's tax cut, charging the increasingly pointed disagreement is interfering with governing.
When House Republicans passed their budget, Democrats tried to force a vote on the tax cut. Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says he's not thrilled with the idea, but says it's the only one Republicans have offered to help the middle class. Pelath says the focus should be on job creation, and says the best proposal to achieve it is an expansion of Medicaid under the federal health care law. He maintains that step would create an estimated 30,000 jobs.
Pence has declared he'll only expand Medicaid if he can do it through the state's Healthy Indiana Plan, and the Republican Senate has passed a bill affirming that position. A House committee holds a hearing Wednesday on the bill. Pelath predicts the federal government will never reward that approach, and contends several House Republicans agree with Democrats that the state should have a fallback position to expand Medicaid if the government says no.
Pence and other Republicans contend the expansion would lock the state into millions of dollars in new costs after federal funding is trimmed after the first few years.