Political News

Federal government won't hold up NC funds over HB2 fight

Posted May 12

— The Obama administration made clear Thursday it won't withhold money for North Carolina while a legal fight plays out over the state's law on bathroom use by transgender people.

The Justice Department sued North Carolina over House Bill 2 on Monday alleging the law violates the Civil Rights Act. The law says transgender people must use public bathrooms, showers and changing rooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has argued that the state law is a "commonsense privacy policy" and that the Justice Department's position is "baseless and blatant overreach." His administration also filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government.

On a separate track, another review involving multiple agencies is taking place to determine whether federal money should be withheld to comply with a provision of the 1964 civil rights law.

"The administration will not take action to withhold funding while this enforcement process is playing out in the courts," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told journalists during the daily press briefing.

President Barack Obama has said he believes the law is "wrong and should be overturned."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday in announcing the lawsuit that her agency has the power to withhold funding but wasn't ready to take action.

The McCrory administration quickly declared victory in the first battle with the government over House Bill 2.

"As Governor McCrory has said all along, his administration's assertive action against Washington overreach will protect federal funding for schools and other services while allowing the courts to resolve this issue," McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the campaign of McCrory's opponent in the November election, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, criticized the governor for prolonging the war over the controversial state law.

"It's good news that the White House will not withhold federal funding for now. North Carolinians shouldn't have to miss out on essential funding for our schools and our roads because of this discriminatory law," Cooper campaign spokesman Ford Porter said in a statement. "It's disappointing that Governor McCrory is continuing to put billions in funding at risk, but the reality is he can end all this by working to repeal HB2 immediately."

14 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Roger Clements May 15, 2016
    user avatar

    "Hm, I would caution against taking the law into your own hands if you do happen to encounter a transgender in the bathroom."

    Why not? When liberals don't like a law they just ignore it.

  • Roger Clements May 15, 2016
    user avatar

    "Hm, I would caution against taking the law into your own hands if you do happen to encounter a transgender in the bathroom."

    Why not? When liberals don't like a law they just ignore it.

  • Xander Bogaerts May 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Hm, I would caution against taking the law into your own hands if you do happen to encounter a transgender in the bathroom. That would only end badly for you, I fear.

    HB2 forces a transgendered person into the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, so a transgendered man has to be in the women's room with your daughter, in that hypothetical scenario.

    Don't like that scenario? Contact your representatives and tell them to repeal HB2.

  • Teresa Engel May 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    They audited liberal groups too. Google is your friend.

  • Hamilton Bean May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    The Gov. is standing up to the socialist/leftist/ Dept of Injustice and the Obama people. He does so to protect the people of our state. I'll durn sure guarantee that the first LGBTQxxx that enters a bathroom being used by my daughter and I know about it, that person will not walk out under their own power. If the LGBTQxxx crowd is so focused only on their selfish desires and cares so little about the rest of our population, that should tell the people a lot about them.

  • Xander Bogaerts May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    "U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday in announcing the lawsuit that her agency has the power to withhold funding but wasn't ready to take action."

    Sounds like she is saying the DOJ does have the power to withhold the funds, but has decided not to hold the people of NC hostage while the courts figure out the path this will take.

    Now if only McCrory could follow a similar path and realize that just because he has an avenue to use, it doesn't necessarily mean he should use it. Or, even better, let's say McCrory signed a discriminatory law that happened to be known as HB2, and it blew up in his face, and he would be magnanimous enough not to hold the people of NC as hostage. For instance, he could repeal it, and be construed as 'I believe firmly in this, but I will not hold the economic prosperity of NC hostage, so I will repeal it and wait for the courts to decide."

    That would reinstate his dignity. One can only hope...

  • Tee Kdawg May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Soooooo... of course they were not going to impose penalties before a legal judgement was rendered. Kinda obvious, no? Who would have thought overwise? Ah yes, small minds most likely.

    This governor guy reminds me of some third-world dictator like Kim Jong-un or something. Next, Patrick's office will be producing propaganda movies of him and Barney Fife nuking the imperial hordes in DC or something.

  • David McCabe May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    They didn't take the funds because they do not have the authority to take those funds and no loophole could be found in the past few days for them to do it. It was a bad bluff that they never should have made.

  • Kim Anderson May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Weak government TRUMP2016!

  • Roger Clements May 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    True. The IRS doesn't have the power to unfairly audit and otherwise unfairly treat certain groups such as those with a conservative opinion. But the IRS did it and did it with impunity.

More...