Congressional votes are a matter of public record. Thanks to this, and roll call voting, anyone interested in the information can know with a click exactly which of their elected representatives are supporting a piece of legislation — say, for instance, to decriminalize marijuana — and which are not. If you didn’t know this, you are not alone. However, if you’re a sitting Congressman and either didn’t know this or assumed or hoped your constituents wouldn’t, that’s rather a shame.
Matt Gaetz surely knows that roll call votes are a matter of public record. This didn’t stop him from misrepresenting the major parties’ support for the aforementioned decriminalization.
Prescription Drugs can be poison.
Marijuana can help.
Why won’t Democrats, with full control of the government, end the era of marijuana prohibition? https://t.co/NL1rW7umYC
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 19, 2022
“Why won’t Democrats, with full control of the government, end the era of marijuana prohibition?” Gaetz tweeted on Tuesday.
Of course, the first part of the answer to that is that Democrats to not have “full control” of the government. Most votes in the Senate require a 60-vote majority, and Democrats only have 50. When a simple majority is enough, Vice President Kamala Harris can join as a tiebreaker, but otherwise, cooperation from Republicans is necessary.
Democrats hold a larger majority in the House, and bills can move from the House to Senate on a simple majority — thus, the recent House Bill to decriminalize marijuana did indeed pass. It did not do so with significant right-wing support, as you can see at house.gov.
Three Republicans in the House (yes, Gaetz was one) voted in favor of decriminalization. If support in the Senate is similar, the bill cannot pass.
Senate Democrats told RollCall recently that there’s an effort underway to draft a new Senate bill for the same purpose — with the goal being one “package[d] with provisions that have been favorably received by the GOP,” so that perhaps enough Republicans will support the bill to move it forward.
Democrats are doing the work, and even, as clearly exhibited, willing to compromise with conservative colleagues to get the bill through. Gaetz suggesting otherwise goes beyond disingenuous to genuinely dishonest.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com