RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper delivered the State of the State address to a joint session of the N.C. General Assembly and followed through on pushing the Democrats’ agenda while dressing it with feel-good bromides. It was a familiar playlist: Medicaid expansion, House Bill 2, climate change, free college, and more spending.
Not that those issues don’t speak to some in the Republican majority that are all too willing to give in to the pressure from the Left when the heat is on. After all, House Bill 2, a common sense and unfortunately necessary measure demonized by the Left, was (partially) repealed due to too many Republicans giving in. A few Republicans are even proposing new government healthcare programs that amount to Medicaid expansion-lite.
However, the Republican leadership had opposing responses to Cooper’s State of the State.
❌ We still have #HurricaneMatthew victims waiting for help.
❌ Make no mistake – Medicaid expansion is not free.
❌ The Governor is no friend of agriculture. He’s vetoed every Farm Act.#ncpol pic.twitter.com/xef0NyB7gS
— Rep. John Bell (@JohnBellNC) February 26, 2019
N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger gave the official NCGOP response. After touting the positive tax, fiscal, and economic trends under Republican legislative control, and seemingly trying to out do Democrats on commitments to spend more on education, Berger addressed the elephant in the room:
“On Friday evening with the sweep of a pen, one Democratic judge from Wake County invalidated the will of more than two million North Carolinians who voted to add Voter ID to the state constitution.
“That Democratic judge ruled that the entire Republican state legislature was unconstitutional for more than 1 ½ years based on legal reasoning that, to my knowledge, has never before been sustained in the United States.
“An unrestrained judiciary advancing political theories and political agendas that nobody elected a judge to bring about is a fundamental threat to the ideas our state and this country were founded upon.
“This threat is compounded by the Governor’s unchecked power to appoint whomever he chooses to the courts. […]
“Look no further than the decision to strike down the Voter ID amendment that you, the people, voted to enshrine in our Constitution. The judiciary, which should be the least political branch of government, is being increasingly utilized to frustrate the will of the people of our great state. […]”
Cooper ended his speech saying that there’s “nothing a determined North Carolina can’t do.” Well, except amend their own constitution, apparently.
So the State of the State is really fraught with worrisome fundamental political breakdowns and Democrats pushing the same failed agenda Republicans just spent the better part of a decade cleaning up.