Your take: Howell, McDonnell and use of Va. House for Republican rebuttal
We reported today that House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) may have broken his chamber's own rules when he allowed Gov. Bob McDonnell to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address from the House of Delegates' floor last week.
Rule 82 reads: "The Hall of the House of Delegates shall be used for no other purpose than the sessions of the House and for meetings of the committees and members of the legislature on public affairs except by vote of the House or the Rules Committee or with the approval of the Speaker when the House is not in session."
Howell said he had the authority to allow McDonnell to use the chamber because the speech took place after 10 p.m. when the House had already adjourned for the day.
"We have the worst financial crisis in the state,'' he also told us. This is not something that we need to be focused on."
As you can imagine, some Virginia Democrats take issue with the use of the chamber, but no one wants to challenge the Speaker. National Democrats, meanwhile, are gleefully spreading the news about the possible rule violation.
McDonnell gave a 12-minute speech to about 250 family members, friends and donors in the state's historic Capitol as he attempted a difference from venues in past years in which rebuttal speakers appeared alone.
Let us know what you think about Howell's actions by commenting below. Do you think he violated the rules? Do you think McDonnell should have picked a different venue? Do you think we should all move on with lives and talk about something else?
February 2, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell
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