The GOP-controlled S.C. House of Representatives approved a 935-word resolution Tuesday urging new Gov. Henry McMaster to expand Medicaid, a basic tenet of Obamacare.
Except, it was an accident.
A day later, the House quickly passed a retraction.
S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas took to the floor Wednesday to explain the mistake.
The resolution appeared congratulatory, Lucas said.
The resolution begins: “To congratulate the honorable Henry Dargan McMaster on assuming the office of governor of the state of South Carolina,” before urging him to expand Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that pays for medical care for the poor and disabled.
“The resolution actually has some substantive portions in it that I did not announce to the body,” Lucas said, adding he took responsibility for the error. “What happens up here is my responsibility.”
The resolution’s main sponsor – state Rep. Joe Jefferson, D-Berkeley – said the bill’s retraction “probably happened for the best.”
Congratulatory “resolutions do get read across the desk and passed unanimously without any discussion or debate,” said state Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun, a co-sponsor.
“Obviously, Medicaid expansion is a very contentious issue that has proponents and opponents, and so a resolution of that nature should have ... had the opportunity to be debated.”
“It pays to read with comprehension,” quipped state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, another co-sponsor of the proposal.
“It just suggests that, sometimes, we should pay closer attention,” she said, adding, “We should probably read beyond the third or fourth line of a resolution.”
Cobb-Hunter said she was shocked when she was told the bill had passed. “For just a moment, it felt good to think we could have a conversation about expanding Medicaid in South Carolina.”
Cobb-Hunter urged McMaster and GOP Speaker Lucas to consider a proposal she has introduced, similar to a Republican-backed Arkansas plan, that would cover more uninsured South Carolinians.
Where was Peeler during Leatherman’s portrait unveiling?
State Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, missed the unveiling of a portrait Wednesday of his Florence GOP colleague Hugh Leatherman.
Peeler sponsored the resolution, calling for the privately funded portrait and its display in the Senate chambers, and gave the nominating speech for Leatherman to become Senate president pro tempore in December.
Of course, a month later, Peeler ran unsuccessfully against Leatherman for Senate leader.
But he said his absence Wednesday was not a slight.
Peeler said he gave Leatherman a heads-up he would be absent from the Senate Wednesday and Thursday because of back surgery that required putting cement in a vertebrae.
“ ‘Be sure and tell your doctor if he needs any more cement, I have plenty,’ ” said Leatherman, a “minority stockholder” in Florence Concrete Products, Peeler recalled.
Peeler added he then heard the theme song from “The Godfather” playing in the background.
Sheri Few’s ‘War on Confederate Memorials’
Sheri Few’s 5th District congressional bid has been flooding The Buzz’s inbox.
One of the subject lines from a recent news release? “FEW: THANK NORMAN AND POPE FOR WAR ON CONFEDERATE MEMORIALS.”
In the release, Few cited the Charlottesville, Va., City Council’s decision to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from that city’s Lee Park and rename the park.
“This is just another example of leftists trying to erase history, just like ISIS,” Few said in the news release.
She added: “And it’s all happening because Ralph Norman and Tommy Pope didn’t have the courage to stand up against this dangerous example of political correctness.”
The S.C. House of Representatives and state Senate voted to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds after the Charleston church massacre, where self-avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black churchgoers. Evidence in the just-concluded trial showed Roof made pilgrimages to the Confederate flag at the State House in the months before his massacre.
Neither Pope nor Norman, both York County Republicans, was eager to respond to Few, who is trying to claim the GOP’s far right in the upcoming special election to replace U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, tapped to be President Donald Trump’s budget director.
In the aftermath of the flag’s removal, S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas said removing or changing any other Palmetto State monuments would not be up for debate, Pope noted, adding he fully supports that position.
Norman said he had no comment.
Meanwhile, Kershaw County’s Few has been busy issuing more all-cap press statements, including:
▪ FEW TO DEVOS OPPONENTS: IF YOU DON’T WANT HER MAKING POLICY, JOIN ME IN ENDING THE FED ED DEPT
▪ IS RALPH NORMAN A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS?
▪ FEW CALLS ON MULLIKIN TO DISAVOW SUPPORT FROM KERSHAW CO. DEMS
The Mullikin email criticized Camden lawyer Tom Mullikin for his past donations to and support of Democrats.
“Much like President Trump, I have spent a career building and growing my business and creating jobs,” Mullikin responded in a statement. “That means just like Trump, business required that I give donations to numerous folks, many community leaders and even Democrats.
“He didn’t apologize for it and neither will I.”