NC Dems 'Freaking Out' After GOPers Call Surprise Session

Republicans pull 11th-hour move to try to limit powers of Governor-elect Roy Cooper
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2016 7:17 AM CST
NC Dems 'Freaking Out' After GOPers Call Surprise Session
Rep. John Bell, left, and Rep. Jason Saine confer as the NC General Assembly reconvenes for a special session on Tuesday.   (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP)

It was supposed to be a meeting about hurricane relief, but a Wednesday gathering of North Carolina legislators left Democrats "freaking out," as Business Insider puts it. A General Assembly special session was suddenly extended by the GOP into a second special session after the hurricane talk, and the 11th-hour meeting turned out to be a way for them to challenge the power of Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper, who recently defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory. Republicans want Cooper's Cabinet appointees subject to Senate approval, limited ability for him to place education board members, and a deep cut in his employee count, among other proposals, per the News & Observer. The Atlantic deems the move a "brazen and unabashed attempt to undercut" him, with House Democratic Leader Larry Hall saying it was designed to "nullify the vote of the people."

Two dozen bills were filed from both parties, with House Rules Committee Chair David Lewis telling reporters that the GOP is "going to continue to be a relevant party in governing this state." House Dems were especially irate once they saw the petition asking for the extra session was started Monday (House Speaker Tim Moore originally said the decision had only been made Wednesday; Democrats didn't find out till noon that day). "This is why people don't trust us, this is why they hate us … because of ... using hurricane relief as the reason to come back ... to do a lot of things because you lost an election by 10,000 votes," Rep. Darren Jackson said, per Cooper, who takes office Jan. 1, tweeted Wednesday: "#NCGA should focus on higher teacher pay, better wages for working North Carolinians and repealing HB 2." Voting may start as early as Thursday. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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