By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Senator Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) and Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) have resigned from the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus.
On Monday, Brewbaker confirmed the information with the Alabama Political Reporter by phone interview, Bussman confirmed via text message that they both had resigned from the Caucus.
“I am still a member of the GOP. I have not left the Party, just the Caucus,” said Brewbaker. “It was so important to the Leadership to get a vote on that first lottery bill that they were willing to have Democrats sign the cloture petition to force a vote and that was a terrible bill. I was just astounded by that.”
Brewbaker said that part of the frustration leading to his resignation had been building over a period of years but the Leadership’s willingness to force his vote on SB11 was something he couldn’t “wrap his head around” so he saw this as his time to exit the Caucus.
“If we had had a policy of forcing votes on all of the important issues, I would have been totally okay with it but when pro-family conservatives wanted a vote on Common Core, when we wanted to vote on certain pro-life issues, you name it, we weren’t going to force any of those votes,” he said.
He said that the Caucus’ priorities have made a significant shift since the Republican Supermajority took over in 2010.
“Personally, all of those guys are my friends and I like them but politically I just think we have drifted so far apart now that we don’t have a whole lot in common,” he added.
According to Brewbaker, his resignation letter was left with the office of Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) on Friday evening.
A cloture petition was issued by the Senate Rules Committee last Thursday, forcing a vote on stopping debate on SB11. It failed on a vote of the full Senate causing the bill to be carried over.