Pa. House GOP conservatives flex political muscle

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — It’s been three years since Pennsylvania House Republicans retook the majority in the tea party wave that also ushered into office fellow Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Since then there have been three on-time state budgets, no new broad-based state taxes and little growth in the state budget.

The conservatives with the Republican caucus can take a big share of credit for defeating a transportation bill this summer, largely because it would have increased gas taxes.

But the question now is whether they’ve found a winning formula for governance or sown the seeds of eventual downfall.

Some state House Democrats see their opponents as having essentially been captured by a conservative majority faction that prevents the sorts of bipartisan compromises that were more common when the two parties shared power.

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