House Democrats condemn Philip Gunn for ending debate

House Democrats condemned Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn on Tuesday for abruptly ending debate on a controversial bill for Mississippi to join a drive for a U.S. constitutional convention.

“It was a very important piece of legislation, and it deserved vetting,” said House Democratic leader Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto during a hastily called press conference at the Capitol.

Gunn had allowed a vote earlier in the day ending debate and preventing amendments to Senate Bill 2591, otherwise called the Compact for a Balanced Budget. The move came more than two hours into discussion on the measure, which most Republicans support and most Democrats oppose….

…Democrats shared concern over the federal debt but argued that Mississippi shouldn’t interfere in the federal government’s business and that it’s Congress job to balance the nation’s budget.

“Why would give this power to 50 states,” Wooten said, “when this state can’t even handle its own responsibilities?”

If they couldn’t kill the measure, Democrats at least had wanted to amend it, Moak said. Amendments would have preserved payments to veterans, military personnel and recipients of Medicare and Social Security, as well those to Mississippi farmers.