Call to Action
For those of you who have been following Virginia's efforts to thwart the NDAA's detention provisions, the bill needs our help one more time.
Tomorrow, the Virginia Senate could have the final vote on HB 1160, either sending it to the Governor's desk for his signature or burying it to die from inaction in a conference committee.
Delegate Bob Marshall, HB 1160's patron, is urging Virginians to contact their state senators immediately and urge them to recede from the Senate Amendment and vote to approve the House version of HB 1160.
Please read the important letter below from Bob Marshall and take action if you live in Virginia – or pass it on to someone you know who resides there.
Thank you for all of your support through this strange back and forth on HB 1160.
As most of you know because HB 1160 was amended in the Senate (with my support) it had to go back to the House for approval of the Senate amendment. For several days after it was back on the House calendar, Delegate Barbara Comstock asked that the bill be "passed by for the day" to delay a vote on the bill. Delegate Comstock was the U.S. Justice Department's spokesperson for the Patriot Act and is the Virginia co-chair for Mitt Romney's campaign. Mitt Romney has said that he would have signed the 2012 NDAA including the objectionable detention portions.
During the time it was being passed by each day it became clear that the Governor had "expressed concerns" to some House members about the bill including the Republican Caucus Chairman, Tim Hugo. The Governor's Office has NEVER contacted me with questions or helpful suggestions about HB 1160. Governor McDonnell previously indicated his opposition to HB 1160 when it was in the House subcommittee.
Finally on March 6, 2012, under pressure from many outraged Virginians who had contacted their members to demand a vote on the bill, the House finally voted. The house voted to not accept the Senate Amendments by a vote of 48-51. In my judgment this was merely a ploy to kill HB 1160 in a stalled conference committee.
As I write this Delegate Comstock is personally lobbying senators in opposition to HB 1160. She claimed that Congressman Wolf had expressed concern about HB 1160. However, I personally talked to the Chief of Staff for Congressman Wolf about HB 1160. He told me that Congressman Wolf never gets involved in General Assembly bills other than gambling measures, and that he had taken NO position on HB 1160. Delegate Comstock also claimed on the House floor that the National Guard was concerned about HB 1160 because it might affect joint state federal information sharing. But the National Guard representative never mentioned these or any such concerns when I presented HB 1160 in both the full House and Senate Courts Committee.
Thanks in part to Senator Chap Petersen, today the Senate receded from its amendment and accepted the original House language. This is what I had hoped would happen even though I supported the Senate Amendment because it will allow the Senate's vote to be the final vote on the bill. In other words, if the Senate accepts the House language there is no need for it to be sent to a conference committee. They then reconsidered the vote that they had just taken to recede from the Senate amendment and the bill was "passed by for the day." HB 1160 should be up for a final vote tomorrow, March 8, 2012, in the Senate. If the Senate votes again to recede from their amendment and then votes to approve the House language tomorrow the bill will be sent to the Governor. It they decide not to recede from the amendments the bill will be sent to conference committee where it is likely to be killed by taking no action. If they vote to recede from the amendments but then vote against the House version of the bill the bill will be dead.
THEREFORE, those who support HB 1160 should contact the Senators TONIGHT and ask them to RECEDE FROM THE SENATE AMENDMENTS AND VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE HOUSE PASSED VERSION OF HB 1160 when it comes up for a vote TOMORROW, March 8, 2012. Below is a list of the Senators with contact information and how they voted today.
Thank you again for your support. Please share this with as many people as possible.
Delegate Bob Marshall
Senators Voting Against HB 1160
Senator Barbara Favola email@example.com
Senator Emmett Hanger firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ryan McDougle email@example.com 804-698-7504
Senator John Miller firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7501
Senator Tommy Norment email@example.com 804-698-7503
Senator Frank Ruff firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7515
Senator Dick Saslaw email@example.com 804-698-7535
Senator Bill Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7520
Senator Walter Stosch email@example.com 804-698-7512
Senator John Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7510
Senators Voting in Support of HB 1160
Senator George Barker email@example.com 804-698-7539
Senator Dick Black firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7513
Senator Churck Colgan email@example.com 804-698-7529
Senator Creigh Deeds firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7525
Senator Adam Ebbin email@example.com 804-698-7530
Senator John Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7521
Senator Tom Garrett email@example.com 804-698-7522
Senator Mark Herring firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7533
Senator Janet Howell email@example.com 804-698-7532
Senator Mamie Locke firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7502
Senator Louise Lucas email@example.com 804-698-7518
Senator Dave Marsden firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7537
Senator Henry Marsh email@example.com 804-698-7516
Senator Steve Martin firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7511
Senator Donald McEachin email@example.com 804-698-7509
Senator Jeffrey McWaters firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7508
Senator Yvonne Miller email@example.com 804-698-7505
Senator Steve Newman firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7523
Senator Ralph Northam email@example.com 804-698-7506
Senator Mark Obenshain firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7526
Senator Chap Petersen email@example.com 804-698-7534
Senator Phillip Puckett firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7538
Senator Toddy Puller email@example.com 804-698-7536
Senator Bryce Reeves firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7517
Senator Ralph Smith email@example.com 804-698-7519
Senator Richard Stuart firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7528
Senator Jill Vogel email@example.com 804-698-7527
Senator Frank Wagner firstname.lastname@example.org 804-698-7507