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Greenberg: Inauguration Observance Should Cross Party Lines

Updated: Apr 15

Today we considered SCR 2, which will (among other things) put the House in recess for Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration on Tuesday. The Arkansas legislature hasn’t always observed an inaugural recess: we had one for Bill Clinton, but not for George W. Bush, or Bush or Reagan prior to that. Notice a trend here?

My personal view is that every presidential inauguration should be an occasion for celebration. But as a legislative body, we don’t need to celebrate Democratic administrations while shunning Republican administrations. I expressed this view on the floor of the House today, but I did not convince many members: 69 of 100 legislators, nearly all Democrats, voted for the resolution.

The conventional order of business in the House too often is that we are handed a partisan agenda by the Democrats, and when Republicans object, we are told that we are too partisan. I hope that trend will not continue.

Several members are talking about amending the rules so that we recess for inaugurations without regard to party. I think this would be a welcome change from the trend of our treating Democratic and Republican inaugurations differently.

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