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The Guardians of Democracy

Republican Lawmakers Overrode A Budget Veto While Democrats Attended 9/11 Ceremony In NC


Republican Lawmakers Overrode A Budget Veto While Democrats Attended 9/11 Ceremony In NC

While North Carolina Democrats and the state’s Democratic Governor were attending a Sept. 11, 2001, memorial event to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost that day, their Republican colleagues took advantage of their absence and overrode the governor’s budget veto Wednesday morning.

Gov. Roy Cooper blasted North Carolina House Republicans for calling a “surprise vote” while he and many House members were attending the 9/11 memorial event.

“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,” he told reporters, calling the move “an assault on our Democracy.”

“On a day when tragedy united our country, we should be standing together despite party,” Cooper said. Instead, he said, “the Republican caucus was laying in wait, ready for this.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my 30-plus years in state government,” he said.

Cooper explained that Republicans had failed to override the veto for about two months — as long as their Democratic colleagues were present in the chamber.

According to The Washington Post:

The House is allowed to conduct business as long as at least 61 of 120 members are present, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. Because chambers of the General Assembly need a three-fifths majority to override a veto, there were enough Republicans available to make that happen.

At 8:30 a.m., Democrats were told no votes would take place Wednesday, according to the Raleigh News and Observer — something Republican House Speaker Tim Moore denies. After most of the Democrats left to attend the memorial event shortly before 9 a.m., according to WFAE, Rep. Jason Saine (R) made the motion to review the budget. According to the News and Observer, Moore dismissed the objections from the Democrats present.

The vote went ahead with 64 members present. The result was a veto override, 55-9.

“This is a tragedy. This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” Rep. Deb Butler (D) yelled before the vote began. “Mr. Speaker, how dare you, Mr. Speaker!”

Rep. Mary Belk (D) said at a news conference that Moore “kept talking over us. He turned off our mics,” the AP reports.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson called Republicans’ behavior “plainly unethical” in a tweet shortly after the vote.

When Moore threatened to have Butler removed from the chamber, her Democratic colleagues surrounded her to prevent her arrest, according to CBS 17.

Butler told Moore he would have to answer to the people of North Carolina.

“It’s a great day for North Carolina,” Moore told CBS 17.


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