According to this Washington Post story, Terry McAuliffe said not once, but twice that he “…will not sign a budget in Virginia unless it includes the Medicaid expansion.”
We also have it on video:
The GOP reads this as a threat to shut down state government unless he gets his way. The McAuliffe campaign brushes it all aside as just another instance of Terry showing how much he cares.
Bollocks. McAuliffe put down a marker and he knows it.
In 2012, Senate Democrats threatened to bring the state to a grinding halt because they felt cheated on committee chairmanships.
In the most recent session, Democrats sought to gum-up the budget works again, this time over Medicaid expansion.
They finally got something on Medicaid expansion when it came time to pass the transportation bill.
But if we really want to see how budget shutdowns play on the stage, let’s go back in time a bit. Tim Kaine and a handful of Senate Republican grandees brought the state close to the edge of a shutdown in 2006 over transportation. And who can forget the political calculus behind it all?
A Gov. McAuliffe, then, has a blueprint for how to steer Virginia toward a budget meltdown. And even more, he could follow the still unused Kaine strategy for getting what he wants if no budget is in place.
It’s all hypothetical, of course. But on Medicaid expansion we have, from McAuliffe himself, an example of what he would do if elected.
Manufacture a crisis.