There was no progress Wednesday in the stalemate over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the Republican state budget compromise.
The state House’s floor session lasted less than 10 minutes and did not address a vote on overriding Cooper’s veto or Medicaid expansion legislation House Bill 655. There was no action on the other three bills on the agenda.
With the decision to not conduct votes during Thursday’s brief 9 a.m. session, the next opportunity is likely to be at 7 p.m. Monday, which would be Day 53 of the stalemate.
It is the 23rd consecutive session that House GOP leadership did not address the veto override or HB655. House speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, has said there would be no action on HB655 until the budget becomes law.
Republicans need at least seven Democratic House members and at least one Democratic senator to vote for a veto override. That means most House Democrats have to be present for any potential session vote.
As the two sides remain entrenched, analysts say it could take weeks, if not months, for a compromise to be reached. Moore was reported by The Daily Reflector of Greenville as saying on Aug. 1 that he is willing to wait until October to secure Democratic votes for the override.
At an estimated daily operational cost of $42,000 to run the legislature, there has been at least $966,000 of taxpayer funds spent since the first House session vote on the bills could have been taken July 8.
Cooper’s office issued a statement Wednesday where it asked “when will (Republicans) stop playing games with the calendar?”
“By keeping the legislature in session for little reason other than to continue their override games, Republican leaders are wasting taxpayer money instead of coming to the table to negotiate with Governor Cooper and Democrats.”
Cooper has cited the lack of Medicaid expansion as a primary reason for his veto, along with not enough funds in the GOP budget compromise dedicated to public education spending — including larger public-school teacher raises than offered by the GOP —infrastructure and environment issues.
Moore spokesman Joseph Kyzer said Monday “the speaker will hold the veto override when the votes are secured, and we are steadfastly committed to passing the $24 billion state budget separately from any consideration of Medicaid expansion.”