War Clouds On the Horizon

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

The potential warfare that is simmering near Crimea may pale in comparison to the war that is threatening to break out in the Virginia General Assembly.

First, a little background. During the course of a year, a governor makes hundreds of appointments to various agency boards, boards of visitors, etc. These are to fill vacancies, reappoint persons whose terms have expired, or make new appointments to replace incumbents whose terms have expired. These appointments must be confirmed by the next regular session of the General Assembly.

When a new governor comes in, there is the potential for conflict, but normally the General Assembly confirms the appointments of the former governor, even if there has been a change in which party has captured the governor’s mansion.

Currently, there are six Senate Joint Resolutions sitting in the House Rules Committee listing appointments made by Governor Northam during the interim between the 2021 and 2022 Sessions. All were agreed to unanimously by the Senate. Reportedly, midnight today is the deadline for the House to take action on these resolutions. If no action is taken, the positions automatically become vacant. (There must be some obscure rule somewhere that sets midnight today as the deadline, but I can’t find it. Steve probably knows what it is.)

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the House Republican leadership informed Democrats today that they did not intend to bring the names up for confirmation by the deadline. That would leave approximately 1,000 positions available for Governor Youngkin to fill. This action seems to be in retaliation for Senate Democrats blocking Youngkin’s nomination of Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Natural Resources.

Not surprisingly, Democrats are furious. They have, in effect, reminded the House Republicans that they still control the Senate by saying they are prepared to “fight fire with fire” by declining to confirm Youngkin’s appointments. Theoretically, that impasse could continue into the 2023 session with Democrats declining to confirm any appointments made by Youngkin during the 2022-2023 interim.

As Mr. Haner would say, this may call for two bags of popcorn.

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14 responses to “War Clouds On the Horizon”

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    If I recall correctly Filler Corn had no problems acting in a stealth manner with no debate.

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      Might be good to remind them of that.

    2. vicnicholls Avatar

      and maybe the FOIA that showed she lied on it?

  2. David Wojick Avatar
    David Wojick

    Divided Congresses are often relatively paralyzed and today’s political polarization is extreme, possibly the greatest in 150 years, but I am not quite that old. So this is not entirely surprising.

  3. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Maybe a three bagger!

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      Actually bring on the goobers and hot dogs.

  4. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    “That potential warfare that is simmering near Crimea may pale in comparison to the war that is threatening to break out in the Virginia General Assembly.”

    No it does not.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      OK. Maybe I engaged in a little hyperbole.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    Some wags might say that the Founding Fathers INTENDED for governing bodies to NOT act UNLESS they have… wait for it… some level of consensus…

    The Founding Fathers may well have NOT been fans of “whiplash’ EOs and such between alternating party takeovers.

    Finally, the Va GA is not going much different than the US Congress.

    You can bet your boots that the VA GOP is working overtime to figure out which Senate Dem seats are possible to turn….or get Chapman or Morrissey to switch.. The “wheels” are turning…..

    1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
      Kathleen Smith

      The Petersburg casino may make it after all.

    2. David Wojick Avatar
      David Wojick

      The Founding Fathers did not even anticipate the two party system and were shocked when it emerged. They were Lockeans and thought reasonable people would always agree. At least we do not have 10 parties, or maybe that would be better. Diffuse the hatred.

      So what happens to the hundreds of bills now staggering through the republican GA? Death by Senate?

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive


    There is profit to be had in confusion.

  7. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    And this morning’s RTD has the game over. Fun story while it lasted. No popcorn. A belly bumping moment. Old Capitol Hands remember the story.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Only people who have been around as long as have will get your reference to a “belly bumping moment”!

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