GOP leaders tout "great budget" deal

Posted May 31, 2011

House and Senate Republican leaders shared a podium today to tout a new budget deal they say reduces spending and allows temporary taxes to expire while protecting the classroom.  

"This is a great budget for the people of North Carolina," said Senate Leader Phil Berger of the $19.68 B compromise.

Berger said the Senate will send the budget back to the House Thursday.  House Speaker Thom Tillis says the House will give the measure final approval no later than early Saturday morning, when they'll send it to Perdue's desk.   

The measure was made public just before midnight Monday, and neither Senate Democrats nor the press had hard copies of the new deal till midday Tuesday, just before it was heard in Senate Appropriations.  It's due on the Senate floor for a vote at 11:00 am Wednesday.

In the past, when they were in the minority, Republicans complained Democrats gave them insufficient time to vet budget proposals.  But in this case, Berger and Tillis said the quick turnaround offered sufficient time for review.  

Tillis says it's important to finish the budget as soon as possible because it includes the needed legal change to allow federal jobless benefits to resume for around 50,000 jobless North Carolinians, and because city and county budgets, which depend on the state budget, need to be finalized soon, too.

Republicans also complained about "apocalyptic language" from the budget's Democratic opponents.  

Tillis said the new budget deal's bottom line is just a couple of percent less than Perdue had proposed to spend.  "The rhetoric doesn't match the math," he said.  

"I looked outside this morning, and the sky was not falling," Berger added wryly.

Tillis and Berger also emphasized the deal's "bipartisan support."  But as of this afternoon, it wasn't clear how deep that support might actually be.

The five House Democrats who were involved in the negotiations - Crawford, Owens, Hill, Brisson, and Spear - all indicated today they would likely support the deal, which includes funding and/or provisions each of them specifically sought.  But few other of the 52 House Democrats are expected to join them, and there's no indication that any of the 20 Senate Dems will support the bill, either. Joint GOP Budget GOP leaders: Budget done Saturday

The "Party of Five" could give the GOP the margin needed to override a potential veto, but Tillis demurred today when asked whether the Democrats would stand with the GOP against Perdue. "I'm hoping the governor will not put us in a position where that's a relevant question."

Watch the unedited press conference at right, and my apologies for the shaky-cam effects in the first minute.    


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  • stanmak Jun 2, 2011

    if you all really believed the rhetoric you are spewing you would leave this state. if everything is going to collapse then why in the world would you stay here?

  • dlphnwmn8 Jun 2, 2011

    It's 20 weeks. Given the "rhetoric" that our economy is on the upswing, the additional weeks will allow many of us to stay afloat while we apply for these new jobs that are now available. After that; as we do now; we pray.

  • RonnieR Jun 2, 2011

    Folks keep harping on the 200 week extension. What are they gonna do when the 99 weeks are up?

  • dlphnwmn8 Jun 2, 2011

    Dad....one thing they may take for granted is that come election time we will have forgotten what they've done. I for one will not and will make SURE anyone and everyone I come in contact with does not either.

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    I was wondering if Phil and Thom like to cut so much why cant the get the NC Lottery to cut out the $200,000 going to Ric Flair to say Whoooooooooooooo....Whooooooooooooo....Whooooooooooooooooo..

    Maybe our kids could have some paper for the copiers, paper in the bathrooms, and maybe just maybe they can have some funding for pencil sharpeners in the 1rst grade this year.

    Hey Bev we the unemployed are hoping for a miracle too so you arent the Lone Ranger either girlfriend.

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    Dont forget folks that Apodaca's reason for his first divorce was over religous reasons... He thought he was GOd and she didn't

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    Apodaca "Let vote this down now."

    All the unemployed hungry destitute and homeless folks of NC "Let's vote Apodaca out NOW!!"

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    Folks nothing surprises me what Apodaca says. When he lied to everyone in this state about taking the high road he meant one of those high roads up in the mountains in NC and dropping off the side of a mountain all the folks on unemployment in his district.

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 2, 2011

    All right Phil you got your budget and you got by hiding behind hungry children and soon to be homeless families and you can thank us all.

    You are the man

  • dlphnwmn8 Jun 1, 2011

    Senator Malcolm Graham appealed to his colleagues again on Wednesday to pass a clean bill extending federal jobless benefits to 46,000 long-term unemployed North Carolinians.
    The Mecklenburg County Democrat told the Senate the federal benefits extension had no place in the state budget bill.
    Senator Tom Apodaca responded that the quickest way for Democrats to “do the right thing” would be to pass the Republican’s budget.
    Sen. Graham said the budget debate could drag out another week or two, increasing the uncertainty and stress on thousands of families.
    Graham’s attempt to pass a clean bill for the long-term unemployed failed along party lines, 19-31. Check out this you tube video where Apodaca clearly states “Let’s vote this down now” And they did. http://youtu.be/LvnGGxrhfw4