Oklahoma Republicans Pass Bill To Drug Test Welfare Recipients, Excludes Themselves From Also Taking The Test
When Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma jumped on the bandwagon to force welfare recipients to take a drug test, Democrats successfully added an amendment that also forces lawmakers to pee in a cup as well. The amendment was overwhelmingly approved, along with the rest of the bill, by an 82-6 vote in the House. But after being reviewed by Senate Republicans on Tuesday, the amendment was dropped.
According to the Tahlequah Daily Press, HB 2388, sponsored by Republican Senator David Holt and Republican Rep. Guy Liebmann, “would require drug-testing for recipients under the program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which many people think of as “welfare.” The bill also would have required Oklahoma lawmakers to take the drug test as well but Holt labeled the amendment as a “stunt” and stripped it from the bill.
Democratic Rep. Mike Shelton, author of the amendment, was not happy about the decision to remove the language from the bill, saying “This is a disappointing development. If citizens are required to undergo drug tests, then so should potential legislators who are entrusted with decisions critical to the welfare of our state…It is hypocritical of us as lawmakers to take state pay, and conduct the state’s business, but ask those who receive benefits to take a drug test, but then refuse to take the same drug test ourselves. I plan to resubmit this amendment when the bill comes back to the House for final consideration.”
To add insult to injury, Holt’s action also stripped the bill of language that would have required the state to reimburse citizens whose drug tests come back negative, meaning citizens now bear the full brunt of the costs of their own drug tests and will not be paid back by the state for the inconvenience. Isn’t that nice of Oklahoma Republicans? Even if your test is negative, you don’t get your money back. Makes me wonder which Republicans in Oklahoma invest in drug testing labs. Because they’ll surely make a profit now.
So why would Republicans drop the provision that requires politicians to take a drug test? I surmise that it’s because they may be guilty of doing drugs themselves and do not want to be revealed as the doped up hypocrites they are, because only a drugged up individual would write a bill that violates individual liberties and privacy while advocating for small government that stays out of our lives.