Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is apologizing for referring to some Republican members of the state Senate as terrorists.
Vos made the comments during a weekend appearance on UpFront with Mike Gousha, when asked about three GOP hold-outs who refused to vote for the budget until Governor Scott Walker promised to veto certain provisions in the plan. Vos described the lawmakers as having held the process hostage to get what they wanted, after failing to convince other Republicans to support their views during regular budget negotiations.
The Rochester Republicans faced strong backlash from Republicans over the remarks, including demands for a public apology from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau)
In a statement released Monday, Vos said he regretted using the term and apologized. “As Speaker, I have strived to increase the civility within the legislature. I now regret using the word terrorist because it goes against the guidelines I’ve set for our chamber, and myself,” he said.
However, Vos added that he’s still concerned about the effects the budget deal will have on future legislation and whether a few holdouts will be able to derail good-faith negotiations. He asked, “Will we now have to run everything past a few rogue holdouts before committees take executive action?”