Bev Perdue stunned the GOP leadership today by issuing an Executive Order for the immediate release of federal unemployment benefits to 47,000 out of work North Carolinians.
The order ends nearly two months of deadlock during which Republican legislators employed the jobless as pawns in budget negotiations with her office. Finally, these unemployed – our friends, family and neighbors – will have help paying bills, mortgages and putting food on their tables.
In a statement moments ago, the Governor explained that she had finally had enough of the GOP's petty political games and the very real suffering they were causing:
"Just yesterday, they voted down a measure to separate this issue from their budget. Enough is enough. They continue to use desperate people as leverage to extort my support for an ideologically-driven budget that needlessly cuts millions from our public schools and inflicts millions of dollars more in damage to our universities, pre-school programs, community colleges, job creation efforts and vital health care services. I will not stand for it and I will not sit by idly as the legislature continues to play these games and deny the jobless the unemployment benefits they need."
There will be howls from the offices of the Republican leadership over the next few days, but I think that what our Governor did today is nothing short of heroic....
Couldn't agree more with that "heroic" adjective used in this context. I would have added "gutsy."
What no one talks about is what the unemployed do with those federal jobless benefits. They pay their rent. They pay their bills. They put food on the table. The Republican dickishness in withholding their benefits, in a game of ideological one-upmanship, was actually hurting the economy of North Carolina.