Governor Nikki Haley on national TV weighed in on Wisconsin’s state government standoff. On ABC’s “This Week,” she called Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin “cowardly” and “irresponsible,” for leaving the state instead of voting on a collective bargaining measure they do not agree with. The governor there says curtailing collective bargaining rights for some state workers will help the state get on better financial footing. Labor advocates say collective bargaining should be a fundamental right.
Haley was a guest Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” along with a panel of governors facing a state budget crisis. She has been outspoken against union activity and is now being sued by a labor group for her stance.
On Sunday’s show, Haley said
Let’s be clear, this was cowardly. This was irresponsible. They left their state at a time when their state needed them the most because they don’t want to take a vote. Whether they are for it or against it, you come back and your represent the people of your state. I think what Governor Walker is doing is showing that he is standing his ground. I talked to him this past week; he is holding strong. I told him the people of this country want him to hold strong. I think what is absolutely shameful is those senators left their state.
Some economists say that collective bargaining is not proven to affect state budgets. Jake Tapper of ABC asked Haley if Walker’s move is simply a government “power grab,” she replied:
Absolutely not, because what you are looking at is these employees oppose the health care cuts. They oppose the benefit cuts. So they are saying no to everything. So collective bargaining is a combination of all of that. What he [Walker] is saying is, “Now more than ever, we have got to get control of our states, we’ve got to get control of our budgets.” This is the time where he’s got to make decisions. He’s trying to do that and I think the people elected him to do that.