Viewpoint

Republican legislators show how low they can go

From an editorial in Monday’s (Raleigh) News & Observer:

It has to rank as one of the most petty, childish and irresponsible maneuvers since Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2011.

Just past 3 a.m. Friday, state Senate Republicans passed a bill providing more funding for pilot programs combating the opiod epidemic. No doubt Republicans are concerned about the problem, but the real purpose seems to have been to teach the Democrats a lesson.

Democrats had prolonged the session in the view of Republicans by introducing amendments to the budget, which were repeatedly shot down.

So Republicans called for a recess. And things stopped in the wee morning for two hours. Then the session resumed around 3 a.m., and lo and behold, the opiod amendment was passed.

The money for Republicans’ proposal came out of education programs in the districts of Senate Democrats. Money came out of early college high schools, and out of a summer science, math and technology program in Northhampton County which helped many students. The same amendment also removed Democratic counties from a program that offers stipends to teachers’ assistants who are trying to get college degrees to get teaching licenses.

Well, we guess those Republicans showed the Democrats, right?

Yes, they showed them just how low they can go, just how much they’ll abuse their power in order to indulge in a political tantrum.

Given the power they possess, Republicans don’t need to engage in this kind of behavior. They have the votes and the control to do as they wish. But in this case, they made very bad choices.

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