As Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly continue forward with a slew of proposals in a special session that would strip levels of authority from incoming Governor-elect Roy Cooper, North Carolina Fourth District Congressman David Price is joining calls against the legislature.
Price issued a statement on Thursday morning saying, “”In my political lifetime, I have never seen anything that matches the proposals put forward overnight by Republicans in the General Assembly. I say this as a former professor of political science, an elected representative, and a leader of the U.S. Congress’s efforts to strengthen parliamentary institutions around the world.
“American democracy may be more fragile than we realized.”
The legislature was called for a special session by Republican Governor Pat McCrory, who recently conceded the gubernatorial election to Cooper, to discuss disaster relief funding for victims of Hurricane Matthew and the western North Carolina wildfires. The legislature has since wrapped up that special session by passing a bill to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to help communities impacted by the disasters. Republicans then called themselves back into a separate special session and filed dozens of bills on Wednesday night for immediate consideration before Cooper takes office on January 1.
Price continued in his statement calling on Republicans to respect the democratic process and will of the voters in North Carolina.
“Like many other democratic systems, we harbor significant partisan disagreements about the best way forward and engage in an often rancorous political discourse. But what sets our democratic system apart — what carried us through the Revolution, the Civil War, the abolition of slavery, the Great Depression, two World Wars, the bloody and hard-fought struggle for civil rights, the economic crisis of recent years, and untold political battles — is our absolute commitment to the peaceful transition of power after elections. Our side may not always win, but we know that our system of government is too valuable to be manipulated at the whim of one party or the other.
“The Republican leaders in the General Assembly have proposed to cast aside that grand tradition, to undermine the will of voters in order to hold onto the levers of power. They are motivated, certainly, by a desire to continue to impose an extremist conservative platform on our state; but their proposal would go beyond questions of policy and politics and strike at the heart of our most deeply-held democratic values. This is an exceptionally dangerous game that legislators are playing, an affront to our national compact to live in a fair system of democratic governance.
“I would urge the Republicans to retract their proposal or Governor McCrory to condemn it, but I know that my protests likely would fall on deaf ears. So instead, I call on North Carolina voters, who decisively elected Governor Roy Cooper in November, to join me in voicing their outrage to Republicans in Raleigh. We cannot stand idly by and allow them to dismantle our state’s democracy.”