HARRISBURG – Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) issues the following statement regarding House Democrat accusations:
“This week the House Democrats made unfounded allegations regarding the management of the health and safety of our members and staff.
“Instead of seeking understanding with regard to the procedures that we are obligated to follow by law, they chose to personally attack our Speaker of the House, Mike Turzai, by casting aspersions on his character.
“First, Speaker Turzai, nor any leader of the House Republican Caucus, is to blame.
“In fact, the member never informed the speaker that he tested positive and the speaker has advocated that any member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should self-disclose.
“The responsibility to manage the daily operations of the Republican Caucus is mine, as the leader.
“The House Republican Caucus’ Human Resources Department previously issued directives and provided timely updates to both Republican members and staff regarding the expectations surrounding the protection of public health. These were followed at my direction.
“In fact, each day, any Republican Caucus employee who physically reports to the Capitol Building must fill out and submit an online health verification form. Additionally, other safety protocols, plus our policy, have been in place daily since the epidemic began.
“As such, the continued recriminations being used against the speaker are not only entirely inappropriate and offensive; they are entirely misplaced.
“The speaker is an honorable man who – since the crisis began – has made the safety of all the members of the House a top priority.
“This is precisely why he oversaw the enactment of a temporary House rule
that allows any member of the House to vote remotely – either in their Harrisburg Capitol Office or elsewhere – and, as chair of the Bipartisan Management Committee (BMC), oversaw the request and implementation of other health and safety features in the House.
“I am disgusted that my colleagues in the Democrat Caucus would so easily dismiss the truth and use a colleague’s health condition to raise political monies from this situation.
“The policy disagreements that the House Republicans and Democrats have been having in the past number of weeks can never justify impugning the integrity of the speaker, shaming someone who is ill, and provoking fear that the House of Representatives is not actively managing the virus.
“In fact, prior discussions were already underway to make further improvements through the Bipartisan Management Committee, which runs House operations, to ensure our internal policies were consistent with each other.”
Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives