RALEIGH – He’s been saying it for nearly two months now. When the General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper became embattled in a budget standoff over the latter’s demand of Medicaid expansion, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said that the veto override bill would remain on the agenda until such time that sufficient votes to pass it could be achieved.
That’s exactly what he did on Wednesday. Governor Roy Cooper is pissed. A Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Deborah Butler (D-New Hanover) on the House Floor had to be surrounded by police and sergeant-at-arms after she went ballistic on the Speaker. She and others outshouted each other to create a scene, to the point of being threatened with arrest if she did not calm down.
Democrats say they were told there would be no votes held today, but Speaker Moore says they were told no such thing.
In short, Democrats were caught sleeping. Republican House leadership did not break rule, or even bend one. Speaker Moore’s office provided audio from Tuesday’s floor session from House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) saying recorded votes would occur Wednesday, specifically identifying two different spending measures.
They simply waited until the Democrats dozed off enough to hold a passing vote. If you think for a moment that Democrats would not do the exact same thing and worse, Rep. Butler’s hysterics notwithstanding, you’re dreaming. That’s got to feed into their outrage here, being that they dropped the ball in their own game.
Governor Roy Cooper, who despite his harsh Leftism is quite mild mannered, was visibly pissed as he gave an impromptu press conference. He called Republican leaders liars and asserted that Republicans insulted Democracy with their trick play, despite the fact that they literally used the rules available to them within the process to hold a simple vote.
Of course, the process is not complete. The override measure must also be approved with sufficient numbers in the N.C. Senate, but leaders there say they are confident they can reach the necessary threshold in which case the Republican budget would become law and Cooper’s hostage-taking for Medicaid expansion will have been a spectacular failure.
The real hurdle for the override had been the House, so though there is still another one to clear, Democrats maybe lashing out because they sense they’ve been bested.
Read more about how the clever Republican vote causing a collective Democratic meltdown here.