January 19, 2012

(Denver) – In a session where all sides agreed that the top three priorities were jobs, jobs and jobs, Republicans devoted the first 2012 floor debate in the state House of Representatives to a toothless, partisan resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to convene a constitutional convention to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act.

“The first day we’re on the floor, actually doing work, and this is what the House majority puts on the calendar?” said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the House Democratic leader. He chided the GOP for failing to focus on getting people back to work and getting the Colorado economy back on track.

“Spent morning on floor debating partisan resolution with no impact of law,” Rep. Ferrandino tweeted later. “We should get back to working together for practical solutions.”

The measure passed on a 33-31 vote, with all but one Republican voting in favor and all but one Democrat voting against.

The Republicans brushed aside Democratic arguments that tossing out the U.S. Constitution to repeal a single statute was like driving a tack with a sledgehammer.

They dismissed the fact that to have any effect in actually calling for a constitutional convention, the measure would also have to pass the state Senate. By designating the measure as a House Resolution instead of a House Joint Resolution, the measure goes no further than the House and cannot make Colorado the first state in the nation to formally call for such a constitutional convention.

And as Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) reminded the House, the measure ignored the fact that the federal healthcare reform was all based on a successful plan implemented in Massachusetts by its former governor, Mitt Romney.

Rep. Pabon’s amendment recognizing Romney’s role was ruled out of order.

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