Legislative Republicans: Emergency power reform not about the governor – it’s about the people

Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, offered the following statement in response to an interview Gov. Jay Inslee gave criticizing the efforts of legislative Republicans to advance bills this session addressing the reform of the governor’s emergency powers.

During the interview, the governor claimed Republicans’ true motive for seeking to restore the balance of power in Washington was to “gut the ability of the governor to try and save lives.”

“The governor has done some good work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s stunning that he presents himself as a lifesaver yet seems afraid to even consider opinions that aren’t his own. The people of Washington continue to make sacrifices that the governor has not. It’s one thing to issue proclamations while you still collect a sizable paycheck, but it’s entirely different to live by those proclamations when they leave you unemployed, unable to pay your bills, unable to feed your children and unable to be present when a loved one dies in a hospital or nursing home. The credit here belongs to the people of Washington. Not Jay Inslee.

“To claim that the Republicans are trying to ‘gut the ability of the governor’ to do anything is ridiculous. It’s as though he doesn’t grasp what our proposals would do. We have been clear from the start that our bipartisan effort to reform the executive’s emergency powers has nothing to do with the governor himself. It’s also not a commentary on how he has used those powers. This is for the people — about having a process that allows for the proper representation of their will.

“Silencing the voices of the people, including those who might disagree with him, by shutting out the Legislature is wrong. We are a coequal branch of government and should have equal input on how the state moves forward. Unfortunately, the Democrat majority has abdicated what little legislative oversight there was, giving the governor unchecked power indefinitely. Despite members of the Senate and House offering multiple legislative solutions, the Democrats have been entirely unwilling to even discuss the issue. That undermines the people.”


Washington State House Republican Communications