Lt. Gov. Fetterman removed from Senate as chaos mars first day of legislative session

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Tuesday marked a chaotic first day of the Pennsylvania legislative session.

In the state Senate, GOP lawmakers passed a resolution to remove Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as president of the chamber.

“This wasn’t something I enjoyed doing or wanted to do, but we had a situation where the GOP Senate refused to seat a democratic Senator that was also affirmed by a democratic election,” Fetterman said.

With Republicans in control of the Senate, they blocked Democrat Jim Brewster from being sworn in. Brewster represents parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. He narrowly won by 67 votes according to the certified results from the Secretary of the Commonwealth. That is still up in the air, however.

“We’re going to let the courts decide who has won that seat,” said Sen. Camera Bartolotta. “We’re not going to disenfranchise voters in Westmoreland County and allow illegal votes to be counted in Allegheny County.”

Fetterman said what the senators pulled is undemocratic.

“You can’t have one political party, either Democrat or Republican, deciding well, ‘I don’t like this election result so I’m not going to seat someone who is certified,” he said. “You can’t question the outcome of an election simply because you don’t like the outcome.”

The case is now in the hands of a federal judge. GOP senators said they’ll seat someone as soon as the ruling is made.