Michigan Rep. Barb Byrum silenced on House floor – AGAIN!

Still think the War on Women isn’t real???

[Title edited for clarity]

Michigan House Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) was prevented from speaking on the House floor today by Republican leadership. She and other Democrats asked to speak on a package of pay equity bills that would address income inequality in Michigan.

They were rebuffed.

From a statement by House Democrats:

State Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) and other House Democrats today took House Republicans to task for repeatedly failing to recognize the needs of women in Michigan. So far this year, House Republicans have repeatedly shown they don’t share women’s priorities in matters such as pay equity, women’s health care, middle-class taxes and teacher retirement. Today, little more than a month after she was barred by House Republicans from speaking on the House floor after voicing opposition to an anti-choice bill, Rep. Barb Byrum once again tried to speak in the House, this time in favor of a package of bills that would address pay equity. Again, she was denied the chance to speak.

“House Republicans decided again to not let me speak today on the House Floor, but they can’t stop millions of Michigan women from speaking out in November,” Byrum said. “The women of this state want leaders who share their priorities, including fair pay, access to women’s health care and a fair tax system for their families. These are values House Republicans don’t share with us.”

According to House Dems, so far this year, House Republicans have:

  • Refused to allow debate or committee testimony on pay equity bills on the House Floor (House Bills 4611-4614)
  • Refused to allow discussion of bills that would undo tax changes that disproportionately hurt middle-class families, such as the elimination of the child deduction, the reduction of the homestead exemption and earned income tax credits and the senor tax (HB 5640)
  • Railroaded through sweeping anti-abortion measures, including the over-regulation of clinics that perform abortions (HB 5711)
  • Pushed through changes to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) that will result in no pensions for future teachers and that disproportionately affect women, who comprise 73.7 percent of the current teachers in the system and 70 percent of the retired teachers (SB 1040)

Rep. Dian Slavens of Canton said, “It is time this Legislature demonstrates that they understand the needs of women and middle-class families in this state. I believe that the people of Michigan deserve elected leaders who do get it. We have been speaking to women around the state about the things that matter most to them, and we understand their concerns.”

Michigan Republicans, drunk with power, continue run roughshod over the rights of women and Democrats in general and, as was revealed yesterday, over the rules and basic ethics standards we should be able to expect from our lawmakers.

If Michiganders didn’t already have enough reasons to get out the vote & get out and vote, their treatment of the women in our state, including their female colleagues should be ample reason to push them over the edge.

We don’t just need change in Michigan. We need revolutionary change.

Our Democratic legislators are certainly ready. “We have been working so hard to promote measures that help the people of this state, not just corporate special interests,” Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw) said in a statement. “We will continue fighting for the things that matter, because the people of Michigan have told us that’s what they want us to do.”

[Byrum photo credit: Anne C. Savage]

P.S. If you are getting value from what you find here at Eclectablog, please note that we are in the middle of our third quarter fundraiser (more info in our post this morning “Day Three – Third Quarter fundraiser – “We’re going to the Democratic National Convention” edition”.) If you can make a contribution to help us continue to fight the good fight, we’d really appreciate it. You can do so using this convenient Paypal link (you can change the default $25 donation amount to whatever you’d like it to be). Thanks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25713166 Carey L Sperl

    Once again, it seems that women in our legislature are being treated like children (or maybe the GOP just have their fingers in their ears, going “I can’t hear you”). This is just too far again. And with the protest going on today, once again the GOP in Michigan don’t like that women are sick of this treatment.
    Hey, old white men who are Republicans, stop trying to make Byrum an example, because you obviously haven’t learned we LIKE this example and stand by her.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=650565299 Merry Morris

      Fingers in their ears?? I was thinking somewhere else!…..I believe the American Dream was never meant to be for women, and our current status in the world is a reflection of this grave error…..Let no woman (or man) forget it was old white men doning wigs of curls that crafted and signed the Declaration of Independence. Betsy was home sewing the flag!

  • Marilyn M.Cardosi

    Representative Stacey Oakes said it perfectly when making the statement that the CONservatives do not care about the people they are supposed to represent but shamelessly promote corporate special interests. My Lord, what is it going to take for the poor people of Michigan (and the United States) to understand that the GOP is all about maintaining the rich and destroying the poor? If a person (because she is a woman) is not allowed to speak, what kind of message are they sending? It’s like Bush’s statement, “if you’re not with us, you’re again’ us”. Don’t believe he was just talking about the war in Iraq, either. These people are drunk with power and think they can do anything they want, while laughing at the people they are hurting. I don’t think Hell is big enough to hold all these self-absorbed, immoral a-holes. My blood pressure is thru the roof. Now I need a pill. Better take it while I still have my Medicare.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kaitlyn.newton.56 Kaitlyn Newton

    it should be illegal to be a republican.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Calvin-Smith/1562613989 Calvin Smith

    How dare this leadership again bar this distinguished State Representative Barb Byrum access to speak?? Each of these instances of proof of a male dominated House will bear the mark of votes against this leadership, come next election.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mimi-Higham/100000738909543 Mimi Higham

    Im not from Mich but do know several from there, alot of them prof women. If women across the country dont help stop this we are all doomed. Why would any women want to give up their rights for anything?? Be told they arnt worth the same money as men in the same job, i fought for the right in the 60’s for this & you want to give this up? Do you want to be told you cant be xxxxx because your a girl. We were told that, men are the bread winners you cant make that much money. Yep been there done that, not fun. Just, this goes to say that REP Brum cant talk, oh my she talked about a vigania in open congress. Are these men in 1st grade? To tell her she cant speak, implying she has nothing to say on any subject. Who in the hell do they think they are, she was voted in just as they were has every right to speak as they do. Most likely much smarter (that really scares that type of man). So are you sure you want to give up your rights???? Expect this kind of attitude if you do. “Just shut up, you have no value or have no idea what your talking about”

  • Wun_Hunglow

    Meanwhile there was no lunch because she left the kitchen without permission.

  • Eric

    Was Bynum shouting unrelated things at the microphone like a crazy person, again? Making rape insinuations?

    I’m certainly not for the War on Women, but I am for intelligent, reasoned debate and discourse, and I don’t really feel like it’s possible to classify what Bynum was doing during her first ban as any of those things. Shouting and yelling aren’t debate when the Republicans do it and they aren’t debate when Democrats do it.

    Yes, Republican lawmakers are working to limit Women’s Rights. This doesn’t meant that what Rep. Bynum did wasn’t out of line (note: I’m speaking of the first instance. I haven’t seen video of the second. Is it available?)

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      This is patently absurd. Rep. Byrum and other Democrats shout because they are being ignored by GOP leadership. This silencing of elected officials is unprecedented and offensive.
      Your mischaracterization of her attempts to be heard are ridiculous.

      • Eric

        She was allowed to speak the first time around, and she went beyond her allotted time. When she was asked to be quiet, she shouted “Vasectomy, Vasectomy, Vasectomy, Vasectomy” at the top of her lungs as some kind of protest. There are plenty of conversations that could be had about the limits that conservatives are attempting to place on women, and they would be serious conversations that need to be had.

        This is not one of those conversations.

        Rep. Bynum acted like a petulant child on the House Floor. The Speaker of the House followed that up by acting like a petulant child to the media. This isn’t an our side versus their side issue, it’s a “Don’t act like a twit when you’re an elected representative” issue. Both sides, in this issue, are equally at fault from where I sit.

        Are there any sources about Bynum being forbidden from speaking, again? I’m unable to find anything, and MLive’s most recent article about her (http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/michigan_rally_abortion_bolger.html) suggests that going into yesterday, there weren’t any sanctions that had been placed on her. I genuinely would like to know what she said that got her sanctioned, because it’s very possible this time she wasn’t acting inappropriately, in which case this is a more significant issue. I certainly don’t want to see intelligent, adult debate censored on the House floor, but it’s important to remember that the qualifiers there are “intelligent and adult”. (And yes, I know; that would exclude a huge margin of Republican debate)

        • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

          I complete reject your characterization of Rep. Byrum and her colleagues. I don’t see how their actions violated any concocted definition of decorum that the GOP “leadership” willfully ignoring the entire Dem caucus on numerous occasions.
          As far as yesterday, she wasn’t sanctioned, she was simply ignored when she tried to speak on a bill they were considering. I’ll have an interview with her up later today. That will be your source since the mainstream media has chosen to overlook this latest slight.

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  • sunfish76

    Where is the Constitution…? If they disagree with policy it cannot be introduced? What kind of representation is this? THIS IS A DICTATORSHIP?

  • Jen

    Really Barb?! Grow some man balls. We are not inferior and never will be. Not only does the POTUS try to divide us by race or ethnicity now you by gender? My female bosses at my tenure with the State of Michigan have been excellent examples of professionalism and integrity. Don’t play the blame game. We have all been duly compensated. Our constituents are angry b/c they believe we don’t work our butts off. But we do. You legislators enjoy lifetime benefits while you are trying to run interference while the public only hears about state employees benefits. Despicable. You in extreme weather take the day off while your civil servants are required to report. America. Take this with a grain of salt. It’s bull and read between the lines and do your research.

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