Mitch McConnell has set the template for how to violate every conceivable norm and ethical standard to gain a partisan advantage and the Republicans who run the North Carolina House of Representatives have learned that lesson well. The dirty trick they pulled off on Wednesday is ethically unconscionable.
Republicans control the state legislature in that state but it has a Democratic governor, Roy Cooper. He vetoed the budget passed by the Republican-led legislature and they’ve been trying to override it ever since, but they simply didn’t have the votes. So on Wednesday, when virtually the entire Democratic caucus was at a memorial for the first responders on 9/11, they quickly scheduled a vote and it passed because virtually everyone in the chamber was a Republican. Democrats say they promised not to hold any votes while they were at the memorial service.
In a surprise move Wednesday morning, the N.C. House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget with just over half of the 120 members present to vote.
Democrats in the chamber objected to the bill being brought up, saying they were told there would be no votes during the 8:30 a.m. session and that it was just a formality so work could begin. Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget and chaos in the chamber quickly ensued. House Speaker Tim Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, said that announcement was not made, and even asked the House Clerk to back him up.
“This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover, said when the vote was called, noting that Democratic leadership was not present. “We will not yield.”
Moore ignored the objections of the Democrats that were in the room and instead mowed through the vote with only 64 members present. The vote was 55-9.
This is absolutely outrageous, but it has become routine in the political system where Trump and McConnell have established the pattern of doing absolutely anything, no matter how hypocritical or unethical, to get the result they wanted. The dangerous part is that the public seems to have become numb to it, treating it as if it’s normal and expected. Every single Republican legislator who went along with this should be voted out of office, or recalled, but there’s no way that’s going to happen.