Governor blasts speaker’s move; speaker blasts back

The gloves are coming off, folks.

Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday night issued the following statement after House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Nambe, recessed the House after Rep. Andy Nunez, I-Hatch, tried to blast a controversial immigration bill out of committee.

“It’s outrageous that Speaker Lujan broke House rules to block an up-or-down vote on the bill to repeal driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants,” said Governor Martinez. “It’s tactics like this that cause the public to lose faith in its elected leaders. Come tomorrow morning, every House member will make a choice – either stand with Speaker Lujan and support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, or stand with New Mexicans to overturn this dangerous law.”

Lujan, in turn, responded to the governor’s comments shortly after her release went out.

It is unfortunate that Governor Martinez chose to issue inflammatory statements to the media that questioned the motives of the House and provided an inaccurate interpretation of House rules,” Lujan said. “The people of New Mexico are not served by this kind of behavior.  I only wish that our new Governor was as willing to engage the Legislature in constructive discussions regarding the serious public policy issues facing our state as she is to drumming up a media frenzy by issuing misleading and inappropriate comments.”

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About triptothecapitol

Trip Jennings is a Capitol reporter at the Santa Fe New Mexican.
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