HARRISBURG − January 5, 2021 – Senator Sharif Street today issued the following statement on Pennsylvania Senate Republicans refusal to sit duly elected Senator Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland):

“Today I joined colleagues in being sworn in to a second term in the Pennsylvania Senate. Instead of celebration we witnessed a breakdown of government.

My colleague, Senator Jim Brewster, duly elected by the people of Pennsylvania and certified by the state should have been sworn in with me.   The PA Senate Republican Leadership’s refusal to seat him  provoked a back and forth between both parties on the Senate floor with families watching.

This political stunt is a subversion of democracy and the will of Pennsylvanians who freely and fairly cast their votes. The elections are over. The people of Pennsylvania and America have spoken. The courts, many times, have spoken.

Rather than today’s theatrics, we, the General Assembly, should put everything into governing and protecting our communities from the pandemic.  Small businesses have been decimated. Families face increasing food and housing insecurity. Unemployment is growing and our children are not being educated in an efficient or equitable way. Essential workers and our health heroes continue to receive more in lip service than adequate PPE and hazard pay. Government has been slow to administer the COVID vaccine even as our communities grow desperate for leadership and resources that make a real and measurable difference in their lives.  The pandemic has spread within our correctional facilities enhancing community spread and turning every sentence into a potential death sentence.  These are the things regular families care about.

This is the work we are mandated and were elected to do, not overturn, delay or deny the will of Pennsylvanians.”