House schedules override vote on Cooper’s budget veto

FILE PHOTO — Gov. Roy Cooper, front right, shakes hands with Tim Moore, Speaker of the House, left, as Senate Leader Phil Berger, right, looks on, after Cooper delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House chamber of the Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, March 13, 2017. (Chris Seward/The News & Observer via AP)
RALEIGH — The GOP-controlled state House scheduled for Monday an override vote on Cooper’s budget veto. Only three Democrats sided with House Republicans during a final budget vote last week. Republicans will likely need more votes than that from Democrats unless several members are absent.

Both the House and Senate would have to agree to an override. Cooper and Democratic legislative leaders are confident that won’t happen, leading to potentially protracted negotiations with Republicans.

Cooper called the GOP budget an “absolute failure” for lacking Medicaid expansion and cutting corporate taxes. Republicans say Cooper is blocking state worker pay raises and other health care benefits with his veto.

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said in an op-ed in the North State Journal that Cooper’s veto had real consequences, unlike the prior two years when his veto could easily be overridden by GOP super-majorities. “Unlike 2017 and 2018 when his veto of a budget drafted by Republican legislators was a largely political statement, designed to score points with his political base, this time his veto could have repercussions that will negatively affect citizens all across North Carolina,” said Berger. “Governor Cooper is still operating as if he has that freedom to appeal to his base voters with no consequences, but now he and legislative Democrats are responsible for the consequences of their actions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.