A timeless tactic in the state Capitol: ‘Let ‘em stew’

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State Rep. Bert Reeves, R - Marietta, receives an ovation after the vote on SB 130, which had his adoption bill added. It passed the House 159-0 shortly before midnight. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

On this final day of this legislative session, the House has recessed until 2:30 p.m., judging that it’s best to let the Senate marinate.

There is a timelessness to this tactic. While wandering the hallways, a veteran lobbyist thrust a newspaper article into my hands. It is from the front page of the July 26, 1906 edition of the Atlanta Georgian. A few excerpts:

If the house does not get busy pretty soon and pass some of the senate bills, the lower branch may expect a sudden shut down on its bills in the senate.

 

The temper of the senate was shown some time ago when a resolution was introduced to ask the house to devote one day of the week to senate measures. It developed that a rule providing for that was already existence, but that nobody paid the least attention to it…

 

The senators are not prone to say much about this matter, but they show their feelings now and then. A well-known house member came over a day or so ago, and asked one of the prominent senators why the senate did not pass a bill in which he was much interested. He got the answer about like this:

 

“My boy, we kinder believe in reciprocity over here. You fellows sit over yonder and chew the rag about your bills, spin your little pet projects through a-whooping, and serenely ignore bills we pass and send over there for your distinguished consideration.

 

“It evidently don’t occur to you fellows that we folks over here have a constituency to serve and bills we are interested in that we should like to have some sort of showing….”

The more things change….




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