As Republican leaders continue to stall and obstruct on their state budget standoff with Governor Roy Cooper, House Speaker Tim Moore has been hard to track down. Here are a number of questions we have for Moore, should he ever poke his head out to speak to voters on the budget:
1. Is it true that Gov. Cooper sent you a compromise budget proposal over a month ago that Republicans have refused to meet with the governor to discuss?
2. 51 out of 55 House Democrats have promised to sustain Gov. Cooper’s budget veto. Even if all four of the remaining Democrats sided with the Republicans, you still don’t have enough votes to override the veto. Why are you still trying to override the veto if there’s no way for you to get enough votes to do so?
3. It seems like Republicans have two options here: You can override Gov. Cooper’s budget veto, which you don’t have enough votes to do, or you can negotiate with Democratic leaders for a budget they can support, which you’re not doing. Why are you continuing to stall and obstruct?
4. How long are you prepared to hold out before admitting you don’t have the votes and finally sitting down to negotiate with Democrats for a budget that works for everyone?
5. School is going to start in a few weeks for most students in North Carolina. School districts are being forced to set their fall budgets with no idea how much money they’ll be getting from the state. Teachers are being forced to buy classroom supplies without the pay raises they were promised. Why are you once again making things harder for our schools?
6. Over 600,000 North Carolina would gain affordable health care access from Medicaid expansion. But every year we wait, there are an estimated 1,000 unnecessary deaths because people can’t afford life-saving treatment. How many people have to die before Republicans put people over politics and expand Medicaid?
7. Tens of thousands of educators marched in Raleigh on May 1 with five simple requests for lawmakers. The Republican budget doesn’t meet any of them. How can you expect teachers to support you if you won’t even listen to them?
8. When you adjust for inflation and enrollment, teacher pay and classroom funding is down compared to a decade ago. Politicians had to make a lot of hard budget decisions during the recession, but the recession is over. Why are Republicans forcing our schools to experience a permanent recession by refusing to restore education funding?
9. You’ve described Medicaid expansion as “Medicaid for All” when you know full well that Medicaid expansion would bring healthcare only to people making less than 138% of the federal poverty level. How can you be trusted with your budget claims when your description of Medicaid expansion is so grossly exaggerated?