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Political notebook: Hudson, Budd supported emergency coronavirus relief bill

U.S. Reps. Richard Hudson, R-8, and Ted Budd, R-13, joined the other representatives in supporting the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act as it passed both bodies of Congress and became law Friday.

 Shortened to the CARES Act, the more than $2 trillion package includes hundreds of billions for payments to individual people as well as money for big and small businesses, education, public health, state and local governments and food security programs.

“These are challenging times for our country. Yet, throughout our history, America his risen to every challenge and today is no different,” Hudson said. “While it is not perfect, the CARES Act provides direct relief to people in need due to the coronavirus outbreak. Families, hospitals and small businesses need immediate relief and are counting on this legislation.”

During remarks on the House floor prior to the vote, Rep. Hudson highlighted efforts to remove “dangerous provisions like union bailouts, the Green New Deal and election schemes,” from the legislation. 

Budd said he supported the act’s hundreds of billions of dollars in small business loans; advance payments for paid leave credits, expanded resources to hospitals; doctors and front-line providers; an increase in access to tele-health services; an increase in deductions for charitable donations; allowing Health Savings Accounts to be used to purchase over-the-counter medicines; an increase in Medicare reimbursement for hospitals who treat patients with COVID-19; providing legal protections for doctors during the crisis; and penalty-free retirement account access.

“Job creators and their workers are the engine of our country, and they are being devastated by the pandemic’s economic fallout,” Budd said. “After all the partisan stunts from the other side, I’m proud to say that this relief package provides a much-needed financial lifeline. This bill is not perfect, but it will help slow the economic bleeding.” 

NC Democratic Party county conventions pushed back, moved to virtual

The Democratic National Committee approved Wednesday the North Carolina Democratic Party’s request to both postpone the county and district conventions and move them to virtual platforms in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last week, the North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Council met and approved a resolution in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Among other changes, the resolution would move all conventions to a virtual platform, held via North Carolina Democratic Party telecommunications tools, and postpone the conventions to a later date. 

“We are grateful that the Democratic National Committee has chosen to approve our request and that our local parties have worked so hard to change original plans to accommodate these new guidelines,” said N.C. Democratic Party chairman Wayne Goodwin. “The Democratic Party as a whole is committed to responsibly responding to this health crisis and the actions of our national party down to our country parties reflect that goal.”

All county conventions, which includes Rowan County Democratic Party, scheduled for March 28 will now be held April 25.

The Rowan County Republican Party convention was originally scheduled for March 14 but was postponed to a virtual convention March 28.

Cooper’s campaign cancels in-person events through May 15

In keeping with Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement Monday that he has closed schools until May 15 — Cooper for N.C. pulled down all in-person campaign events until May 15.

This renewed commitment extends the campaign’s initial cancellation schedule by over one month.

On March 12, the campaign pulled down all in-person campaign events “for the next 30 days,” in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Making the commitment to cancel additional in-person events is a small part that this campaign can play in keeping our fellow North Carolinians healthy and safe,” campaign manager Trey Nix said. “This campaign will continue to carve out creative, proactive ways to engage with voters online and re-elect Governor Cooper, who is fighting day in and day out for all of us.”

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