After all the hype, North Carolina Democrats refused to repeal HB2

by WorldTribune Staff, January 1, 2017

House Bill 2 turned out to be “too powerful a political issue and too lucrative a fundraising tool” for North Carolina Democrats who ultimately refused to repeal the “bathroom bill” they claimed to despise, according to the state senate’s leader.

All of North Carolina’s Democratic state senators voted against repealing HB2 during a special session convened on Dec. 21.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper took his oath of office minutes after midnight on Jan. 1 in Raleigh. /Twitter
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper took his oath of office minutes after midnight on Jan. 1 in Raleigh. /Twitter

“After months of heated rhetoric and demands for the repeal of House Bill 2, Roy Cooper ordered his liberal Democrat allies in the State Senate to vote against repealing HB2,” Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, said in an online post on Dec. 30.

“Following the passage of HB2, national far-left activist groups like the Human Rights Campaign invaded North Carolina and instigated boycotts by musicians and sporting events,” Berger wrote. “While even liberal media outlets like WRAL TV have reported the impact of HB2 was just ‘a tiny ripple on the state economy’, our state’s image has suffered because of the boycotts.”

Berger noted that discussions with the Charlotte City Council began in May on “the possibility of a ‘reset’ on the bathroom issues in the state.”

“The basic idea has varied little since May: the Charlotte City Council would completely repeal the city’s bathroom ordinance and stand down on the issue moving forward, in exchange for the state fully repealing HB2.”

“The wheels started to fall off” on the repeal effort last month when “Cooper and Roberts moved the goal posts for the compromise in a number of ways that eroded trust in the Republican House and Senate caucuses, and ultimately doomed the reset on HB2,” Berger wrote.

On Dec. 21, “after all the drama, all the secrecy, all the broken promises, all the deception and all the duplicity from Cooper that had derailed a slew of reasonable compromises and a new path forward – I went back to our caucus one final time,” Berger wrote. “And we found a way to give the Democrats that straight up or down vote. All but two Republicans voted to split the bill into two parts: One vote for repeal of HB2, and another for the cooling-off period. The first vote was the clean consideration of House Bill 2. We secured 16 Republican Senators, which was half of our present members, to vote yes to repeal HB2. And with the Democratic caucus’ support, that would be enough to pass the repeal, completely change the story and give you something less infuriating to read over the holidays.

“Yet, when it came time to vote, every single Senate Democrat voted it down.

“Remember, these are the same Democrats who have blasted HB2 since April. They’ve called it a ‘stain’ and a ‘scar’ and an ’embarrassment’ to our state, to use some of their milder rhetorical flourishes.

“But their horror and embarrassment wasn’t enough to get their vote on HB2’s repeal.”

Since Charlotte passed its bathroom ordinance 10 months ago, Cooper, who was sworn in as governor on Jan. 1, “has never said – and the liberal media has not asked him – whether biological men should be allowed in locker rooms, changing rooms and bathrooms with women and girls, or whether middle and high school girls and boys should be forced to share locker rooms and bathrooms,” Berger wrote. “Where does he stand on those issues?

“It is time for Roy Cooper to stand with the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians and renounce his far left financial backers and their extreme goal of forcing women and girls to share locker rooms with men.”

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