While most of their Democratic counterparts were absent, Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives took the opportunity Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of the state budget. Rep. Jason Saine (R) made the motion to reconsider the controversial budget, prompting chaos to ensue in the nearly half-empty chamber. House Democratic leader Darren Jackson said he was told by Republicans there would be no recorded votes that morning, leading him to tell his caucus that they did not need to be at the session. With that assurance, two Democrats attended 9/11 events during the morning session. “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,” Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said.
Speaker Tim Moore (R) ignored objections from the 12 Democrats—of 55 total—present, and allowed the vote to proceed. The Democrats in attendance told reporters they did not all have a chance to vote. According to Jackson, their microphones were cut off. “The trickery that is being evidenced by this morning is tantamount to a criminal offense,” Rep. Deb Butler (D) said. “... The fact that they would sit and lie in wait to trap these good citizens, these good representatives, is disgraceful.” Gov. Cooper held a press conference later in the day to admonish the Republican’s tactics. “Let me be clear, today Republicans waged an assault on our Democracy,” Cooper said. “They cheated the people of North Carolina.”
Editor’s Note: This cheat has been updated to reflect a correction by The Washington Post.