North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and the Democrats sound like sore losers crying foul over the way the state House passed the state budget overriding Cooper’s veto.
State Rep. Jon Hardister, who is the majority whip, said, “I was under the assumption that we would have votes today. The speaker never sent out a notice that there would be no votes today.”
Hardister said that the Democrats claimed they were told by Rep. David Lewis that there would be no votes on Wednesday morning. But he noted, “No one sent out an official notice that we wouldn’t have votes this morning.”
Hardister said that Lewis denied telling anyone that there wouldn’t be votes, but Hardister added, “It’s the speakers call.”
Speaker Tim Moore said, “My decision. My decision alone to make.”
But it’s not like the Republican strategy was a big secret. Hardister said, “The speaker said all along that if he thought he had the votes he would call for the vote.”
The veto override was the first item on the calendar for Sept. 11, 2019.
Hardister noted that to override a veto, first there needs to be a quorum present, which is at least 61 representatives and then you need three-fifths of those present and voting to vote in favor of the override, and the Republicans met both of those conditions.
When asked where the Democrats were, Moore said, “My understanding is that they were downstairs working on maps; that is what was said on the floor.”
The news media have reported that the Democrats were at a 9/11 memorial service, but Hardister said, “One Democrat was at a 9/11 ceremony.”
The question that should be answered is, why weren’t more Democrats in the House Chamber. The House was in session. The calendar had a number of bills, including the veto override, that could be called up for votes, so why did the Democrats decide not to attend the legislative session, which is what they were elected to do.
Democratic Rep. Deb Butler, who was yelling on the House floor before the vote was taken, complained about a lot of things, but one of them was that the Democrats had to be in the legislature every day to make sure the Democrats had the votes to block a veto override. It doesn’t make sense to complain about the hardship of attending the legislature every day so the Republicans can’t override the veto and then calling it “trickery” when the Democrats don’t attend a legislative session and the Republicans vote to override the veto.