Republicans somehow constantly manage to hit a new low when it comes to being terrible pretty much on a daily basis, and the party’s representatives from North Carolina are no exception. While their Democratic colleagues were absent from the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning while a 9/11 memorial ceremony was taking place, Republicans used the opportunity to pass a previously vetoed budget without them.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper turned down the controversial budget, leaving Republicans in a tough position. If they wanted to overrule the veto, they would need a three-fifths majority among the representatives that were present. Since most Democrats were absent, they swiftly secured a 55-9 vote in favor of approving the budget, thereby overriding the governor’s veto.
RIGHT NOW: In hastily announced news conference, @nchousedems Minority Leader @JacksonforNC says he was told on multiple occasions by @RepDavidRLewis there would be no votes until at least 1:00 p.m. Tuesday. @NCGOP @ABC11_WTVD #ncga #ncpol pic.twitter.com/7HEEWvpLlB— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) September 11, 2019
Not only is resorting to such underhanded measures completely undemocratic, but the Republicans made things worse by promising Democrats that there would be no votes in the House on the morning of September 11th and that no votes recorded on the floor until at least 1 p.m.
Democratic leaders say they felt “tricked” by the Republicans’ tactics, but they’re probably not all that surprised—according to local news, the party had been trying to overturn Cooper’s veto for months.
NEW: @ABC11_WTVD obtains this email sent from minority leader @JacksonforNC to @nchousedems caucus with Tuesday schedule, which thus far corroborates notion @NCHouseGOP had signaled no recorded votes until afternoon @NCLeg session. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @JTHVerhovek #ncpol pic.twitter.com/77T5eEnx4G— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) September 11, 2019
Cooper issued a statement saying that everyone should be “outraged that this Republican leadership would orchestrate such deception, such trickery in order to get their way.” He added that the move was an “assault on our democracy,” and he’s not wrong.
At least one Democratic leader was indeed present for the vote, and she was seen condemning Republican House Speaker Tim Moore for taking advantage of a terrible tragedy to get his party’s way.
“How dare you do this, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, you are making a mockery of this process,” she can be heard saying in the video. “You are deceiving all of North Carolina. Your leadership is an embarrassment to the history of this great state.”
Republican Representative Jason Saine later responded to the backlash his party is rightfully receiving over the vote, insisting that it was more offensive that Democrats had chosen to honor those who died in the 9/11 tragedy rather than coming to work.
JUST IN: @JasonSaine97th (R-Lincoln) responds to @ABC11_WTVD question about his motion to call for a veto override vote this morning on 9/11. At least one @nchousedems, @RepGPierce1 (Hoke), attended #September11 memorial. @ABC11_WTVD @JTHVerhovek @ABCPolitics #ncga #ncpol pic.twitter.com/ZAssb0e1Wh— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) September 11, 2019
The tone-deaf cruelty of his thought process confounds, but he is indeed a Republican representative.