PA House Republicans Again Fail to Rein in Gov. Wolf’s Draconian COVID-19 Restrictions
By Trey Garrison
Republicans in the state House continued tilting at windmills on Tuesday, failing for the fourth time to override Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill seeking to limit the governor’s authoritarian emergency powers related to the COVID-19 panic.
In a 133-69 vote that fell two short. every Republican and 24 Democrats voted to overturn Wolf’s veto of a measure that would have allowed all restaurants, bars, hotels, event venues and social clubs to reopen at a minimum of 50% capacity while following health guidelines related to COVID-19. Additionally, the bill would have loosened regulations on outdoor dining.
The sticking point in the bill for Democrats and COVID-19 pearl-clutchers was that it would have restricted Wolf from limiting restaurant capacity again.
The measure would also have allowed bars to serve alcohol without requiring a food order, the logic of which apparently is you’re at risk of getting COVID-19 if you drink a beer and don’t have a sandwich with it.
Wolf issued the alcohol sales order earlier this year, and restricted occupancy to 25%. Wolf has since opened them up to 50%.
“Every day more businesses are being put out of business because of unrealistic rules,” said Rep. Kurt Masser, R-Northumberland. “Don’t cripple an entire industry over some bad actor.”
Rep. Dan Moul, R-Adams, said Wolf’s business closures and other state health department guidelines don’t have a basis in science.
“The bottom line is, all this was pulled out of thin air,” Moul said. “There is no science, there is no data in which these decision were made to shut down or drastically reduce beyond repair the restaurant situation in Pennsylvania.”
A survey of popular restaurants in Lancaster County shows that in reality, not that many are adhering to the limits, as they are desperate to stay afloat. Lancaster Guardian won’t name those surveyed to protect them from the COVID-19 snitch corps.
An even dozen Democrats flip-flopped from their earlier support of the bill, voting against the override.
This marked Wolf’s 13th veto in 2020, including earlier attempts to override Wolf on a bill reopening Pennsylvania in May, two attempts to reign in Wolf’s powers last month, and one push to remove Wolf’s ability to restrict high school athletic games.