RALEIGH – The hyperbole coming from North Carolina Democrats over House Republicans “surprise” veto override vote is reaching a fever pitch. Meanwhile, the evidence that Democrats weren’t so much tricked as caught napping by Republicans is mounting.
A core complaint from Democrats is that they were lied to. Actually, spokesman for the N.C. Democratic Party Robert Howard said republican House leadership “lied to the entire state, called a surprise vote, and moved to override Governor Cooper’s veto of their failed budget.”
Governor Roy Cooper really tried to push the ‘Republican deception’ vote narrative:
Today, on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, while the state was honoring first responders, Republicans called a deceptive, surprise override of my budget veto. pic.twitter.com/0NAukg3lti
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) September 11, 2019
More than not being told there would be a vote on a veto override, Democrats contend that they were given the impression no votes would be held at all. All of the ‘He said, she said’ doesn’t really get us anywhere, though.
So how can we determine if the vote was really as much of a tricky surprise as Democrats are indicating? The N.C. House Calendar for September 11, 2019 would seem a good place to start. The calendar is not set in stone every morning, mind you, but it does provide a clear record of which votes are calendared for any given day.
Well, what do we have here? House Bill 966 (the budget Cooper vetoed) and House Bill 555 (another Medicaid reform bill Cooper vetoed) both appear on the calendar, the former as the first action item listed under, appropriately, ‘Unfinished Business.’
House Speaker Tim Moore has been on record for months saying he would keep the budget veto override bill on deck until such time that passage became more favorable. Democrats knew this, as evidenced by the fact that they have been careful to attend every session so as to block the anticipated effort. Until Wednesday, that is, when Democrats dropped the ball and Speaker Moore picked it right up, took his shot before the defense could get set.
Now Democrats want to take that ball and go home, of course, telling everyone along the way that Republicans are cheaters.