Budget rift deepens between Pa. House and Senate

by on Dec 09 2015

Republicans in the state House and Senate remain at odds over how to resolve the state's five-month budget impasse.

The House on Tuesday passed a $30.3 billion spending plan vastly different from the $30.8 billion measure that had already been approved by the Senate with the governor's blessing.

House Republicans said their smaller budget is more realistic, given the votes they can muster in their caucus. But Democratic House Minority Leader Frank Dermody criticized the vote as a waste of time.

"I'll see you on New Year's," said Dermody, "because we'll be here working on a budget for the next month or longer."

Hours later, the Senate gutted the House bill and inserted its own preferred budget language.

Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai responded by goading the Senate to reveal its proposed tax package.

"Sending back a budget bill is not really responsible governance," said Turzai. "Tell us how you're paying for it."