The process that led to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voting for a Democrat Speaker of the House — despite Republicans holding the current 101–99 majority — was a shocking development. Many of the facts surrounding that day have been covered up leading to confusion throughout the state. 

At a time when distrust in our government is at an all-time high, I believe it is imperative that I provide a true, honest, and transparent account of what took place to bring about this result. 

On Jan. 3, the Republican Caucus met at 9:30 a.m. to select our party’s nominee for Speaker of the House. Out of four possible candidates, Representative Carl Metzgar of Somerset County was nominated as the Republican candidate for Speaker. There were no objections in caucus, and given Republicans had the majority, many assumed he would become the next Speaker of the House. 

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Following the swearing-in ceremony that took place on the House floor, Democrats made a motion to adjourn so that the vote for Speaker would not take place. The motion failed and the House was “at ease” until further notice. 

The House remained at ease for much of the day, finally reconvening at 4:30 p.m. What happened next was truly appalling. 

A motion was made on the floor by Republican Representative Jim Gregory to nominate Democrat Mark Rozzi as Speaker, a motion that was seconded by Republican Whip Tim O’Neal. The rest of the Republicans scrambled to have our caucus-elected Republican Carl Metzgar nominated from the Floor, which we succeeded in doing. 

[N]ow the future of our Commonwealth remains dangerously uncertain. 

When all the dust had settled, Representative Metzgar lost as Representative Rozzi won with the support of sixteen Republicans, including the entire Republican leadership team — a total betrayal of the Republican caucus and the people who sent us to Harrisburg to represent their interests. 

The House of Representatives since that time has remained in chaos as no rules have been passed, no committees have been established, and no legislation has been introduced. The House Chamber is literally locked to keep members off the floor, and at this time, there are no session days planned on the House calendar. 

The Pennsylvania House Republican Leadership betrayed our party and our voters by conspiring to install a Democrat speaker and now the future of our Commonwealth remains dangerously uncertain. 

David H. Zimmerman represents the 99th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

8 thoughts on “David Zimmerman: Pennsylvania House Republican leaders voted for a Democrat Speaker despite holding the majority”

  1. Since you are a news media outlet, I assume that I can learn the news from reading this ‘article’. So why aren’t the names of those “Republicans” who voted for Mr. Rozzi listed? I think those names would be considered news.

    1. You could just Google it. The site posted an opinion piece by a republican and he states it was the republican leaders who led this effort for Rozi.

      Don’t be so pathetically incapable of finding public information on the state legislatures website.

  2. The problem with this whole situation boils down to the fact the majority of the state doesn’t want far right leadership but the far right can’t admit they may not be winning and have to look at their brand.

    Complain about the leaders all you want, they could have stuck Metzger in for 2 months, run legislation and policy that would have failed past the house or been vetoed by Shapiro and left the majority of Pennsylvanians hating Republicans and further digging them into unelectability as a whole.

    Or, they tried to find a Democrat who wasn’t a nut job, would work with them and they would look bipartisan and appealing to independents – the fastest growing bloc of voters.

    Which is smarter? You mastriano idiots still think burning down your house with you in it to spite the party is the way to go, but you lost. Your continued ideological purity and purging people and views from the party make everyone irrelevant who is looking to stand up to the far left.

    You’re dragging everyone down. Wake up already. This is all insane.

    1. You are, of course, a fool. The legislation that could have been run was the final passage of a constitutional amendment to fix the mail-in voting system, which doesn’t need the governor to sign it.

  3. It seems like rational discussion of the articles is diminishing on B&L. Ad hominin comments are not what this site is supposed to offer. Sad.

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