ALBANY, N.Y. -- Silence speaks loudest on New York's Assembly floor this week. Chairs wait empty, the men and women elected to fill them, quite clearly, distracted.
"It is a distraction because we ended up canceling session last week that we were supposed to have, a session day. We canceled yesterday," said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R - Canandaigua,
Last week was when Kolb's counterpart, Democratic Majority Leader Joe Morelle, insisted it would not be a distraction.
"It definitely is a distraction. Look at all the media coverage, all the interviews going on with all the members. We're not having any legislative committee meetings," said Kolb.
"The committee chairs have not yet been named by the Democrats," said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R -Melrose.
Steve McLaughlin, the most notoriously anti-Sheldon Silver lawmaker, was joined later Tuesday by a coalition of GOP assembly members, calling for the distraction to end and the people's work, to begin.
"We're actually going to have a Super Bowl winner before we vote on our first bill in the Assembly. That's ridiculous," said Assemblyman Dean Murray, R- E. Patchogue.
"We cannot go any longer without having a Speaker. This is a month now we've had session, and it's time to stop," said Assemblyman Joseph Borelli, R- South Shore.
There is generally support among Republicans for one new, permanent speaker: not a divided leadership group, and not just an interim speaker.