Senate Leader Thinks House Democrats Are Searching For Exit Plan

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The most powerful person in the Indiana State Senate believes House Democrats may be groping for a way to return from a two-week walkout without having "egg" on their faces.

That walkout continues to stymie efforts to get any meaningful business accomplished at the statehouse.

There's still activity going on, but in the legislative chambers, nothing much is getting done.

Just after noon, you could probably hear a pin drop in the House of Representatives.

Since the 40 democrats fled to Illinois two weeks ago, to deny the republican majority a quorum to pass legislation, the place mostly has been a house of silence.

The democrats walked out originally to kill a "Right to Work" bill perceived as anti-labor.

When republicans pulled the bill, democrats stayed in Illinois, claiming a desire to kill 11 other bills they didn't like.

The Senate President Pro Tem wonders how they can come back and still save face.

State Sen. David Long/(R) Senate President Pro Tem: " It's just distressing to see this happen. I think it's terrible for the process. I don't know that the House Democrats have a plan to extricate themselves from this mess. They're over there and don't know how to get back."

B. Patrick Bauer/(D) House Minority Leader: " We're not enduring any more financial pain than they will for a life time. So, sometimes democracy has prices."

When mentioning “They”, Bauer refers to union members and public school educators, who democrats say will suffer if the republicans’ legislative agenda is voted on and approved.

If the democrats stay out into April, as has been suggested, a special session seems likely, and that would cost taxpayers more money.

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