RALEIGH – Last week was certainly not short of drama at the General Assembly. Republicans taking advantage of favorable voting numbers in the House chamber to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget and you would have thought there was some sort of coup if judging by the Democrats’ unhinged response.
Yet, despite all the fervor from Cooper and the Democrats that Republicans tricked and lied to Democrats to somehow cheat their way to an override, a member of the House Democratic Caucus is admitting they simply didn’t know the rules.
“We lost that vote because we didn’t know the rules.” — Rep Billy Richardson just now on @640amWFNC, talking about his fellow Democrats and last week’s budget veto override vote.
— Paul Woolverton (@FO_Woolverton) September 16, 2019
Richardson, a Cumberland County Democrat, has a reputation for speaking plainly and honestly among a caucus that is for the most part made up of those that fall in line unquestioningly behind the blessed narrative. The rules he may be referring to are the quorum rules, which require a certain number of House members to be present in order to conduct official legislative business. They did have a quorum when Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) called the override vote, and it’s been suggested by some that know the rules inside and out argue Democrats could have simply walked out to break quorum and thus invalidate the vote.
But, as Richardson said, they didn’t know or utilize the rules. Instead they broke into a hysterical emotional response on the House floor and followed it with a false and petulant narrative about bullying Republican cheaters.
Something tells us that the Democratic leadership has assigned a healthy dose of ‘Rules Book’ homework for its caucus, especially in the Senate. There’s no telling when the Senate may take up the budget override. While Republicans have a bit more favorable ratio in that chamber, they’d still need some Democrats to cross the aisle or not show up for the vote to make it law.
Will Democrats be caught napping again?