If the House takes up any veto overrides Monday, Speaker Thom Tillis will have a whole lot of explaining to do.
Republican leaders have been saying for weeks Monday's session would be purely administrative, focused on passing an adjournment resolution that would let them come back at the end of this month for a more substantial session.
But Friday's release of the House calendar for Monday set some nerves jangling on Jones St. The calendar, available here, lists five veto overrides for consideration. Insiders, lobbyists, and some media outlets were quick to speculate that Monday might be more than administrative, at least in the House.
Just last week, Tillis told reporters that wouldn't be the case.
“We’ll be notifying the members that it will be a skeleton session,” Tillis said after a committee meeting October 27th.
He said he would try to send out the adjournment resolution to the members in advance so they could decide whether or not they should plan to attend.
“For the most part, I would suggest that they not come, unless they have committee meetings or other reasons to be here.”
“And there will clearly not be any veto overrides or anything," Tillis added. "I want to assure them that this is just purely an administrative meeting to satisfy our constitutional requirements.”
His comments start at 7:01 in the clip at right.
When the Monday calendar came out, I contacted Tillis's spokesman Jordan Shaw to ask whether something had changed.
"The veto overrides, I believe, are always listed on the calendar, given the fact that they are always in our “veto garage” and eligible to come up anytime we are in session," Shaw responded. "But I don’t know of any plans that differ from what the Speaker told you earlier. To my knowledge, the plan remains to take up technical corrections to the redistricting bill and get out of town."
"But again," he added, "veto overrides are always eligible, as you know."
Tillis has said more than once that he might bring up an override any day several Democrats are absent, lowering the threshold for a three-fifths vote. “I think what it says is, you better show up for work,” he said in March.
But bringing up an override vote after assuring minority members they didn't need to attend would raise legislative dirty tricks to a whole new level.
Guess we'll find out Monday.