RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina House Republicans called a surprise vote and overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto on Wednesday morning, according to a tweet by State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg).
The vote was taken while Cooper was at a 9/11 memorial event.
According to Jackson, almost half of the House members were absent when the vote was taken, which resulted in a 55-9 tally.
Jackson said Democrats were specifically told by Republicans that no votes would be held in Wednesday’s morning session.
The veto still stands in the Senate.
“Plainly unethical behavior by Republicans today,” the senator said in his tweet. “There have to be consequences for this kind of behavior. Just another lesson in why they must lose their majority.”
Cooper had an event scheduled in Scotland County Wednesday morning, but he canceled it and instead will hold a press conference at 12 p.m. regarding the vote.
So far, the governor has not made any public comment. Republicans who were in attendance at the vote have not released any statements to the media as of 11 a.m.
The president of the North Carolina Association of Educators release a statement regarding override:
The unbelievably deceitful conduct of House Republicans in the General Assembly this morning is nothing short of reprehensible. By playing underhanded political games in an attempt to win at all costs, they are subverting the democratic process and destroying whatever shred of trust remained between Republicans and the people of North Carolina. At a time when many of us were taking a moment to remember the tragic events of 9/11, House Republicans called a surprise vote with nearly half of the lawmakers absent. This tactic smacks of the lack of integrity that has caused so many problems in our state over the past decade, from unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps to chronically underfunded public schools. But this should come as no surprise from a body that has refused to negotiate in good faith with the Governor, while disrespecting the needs of public education and educators time and time again.”MARK JEWELL, PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS
Rep. John Autry (D-Mecklenburg) posted a video from the floor of the General Assembly showing Rep. Deb Butler (D-Brunswick, New Hanover) voicing her displeasure after finding out about the veto override. The video can be seen in its entirety above.
The democratic process has been severely violated this morning. Republicans called a surprise veto override on the state budget, ignoring the will of millions of North Carolina residents whose priorities and views were not represented with a 55-9 vote. https://t.co/or3eON9cTh— Rep. Kandie Smith (@RepKandieSmith) September 11, 2019
This story will be updated as it develops.