Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is blasting Republicans in the State Senate for shutting down business when she walked into the chamber to try to cast a tie-breaking vote on an amendment on women’s health care.
The Democrats and Republicans are gridlocked at 31-31, and Democrats wanted to attach a hostile amendment to a bill. It would codify the abortion rights protection in the US Supreme court decision Roe v Wade into New York law, and provide more access to birth control. But Lieutenant Governor Hochul says when she tried to enter the Senate and preside over the chamber, which is her right under the state’s constitution, the GOP canceled voting on all bills for the rest of the day. She calls their actions “reprehensible” and “cowardly”.
“Particularly in this era, when women are under assault from Washington and all the revelations coming out form the #me too movement,” Hochul said. “We’re simply saying ‘Would you please stand up for the women of New York?’ and it was a resounding no.”
Republicans say while Hochul has the right to preside at the podium, she does not have the constitutional right to cast any votes, and they accuse Democrats of trying to force passage of what they call a “radical agenda”.