Political notebook: Budd, Hudson oppose new COVID-19 package

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 18, 2020

Both of Rowan County’s representatives in the U.S. House opposed a new, $3 trillion, Democrat-led COVID-19 relief bill that passed the House on Friday.

The bill, called Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (the HEROES Act) includes $1 trillion for state and local governments, another round of direct payments to individuals and help for the unemployed, renters and homeowners, college debt holders and the U.S. Postal Service.

In a statement Friday, Rep. Ted Budd, R-13, called it Democrats’ “unserious” COVID-19 package.

“As our country begins to reopen, there are so many actions we could take to help our fellow citizens through the COVID-19 crisis,” Budd said. “Sadly, not only has Speaker Pelosi refused to let the House get back to work full-time, she forced a vote on an 1,800-page, one-sided, laundry-list of liberal policy dreams that was crafted in her office with no Republican input and without common sense amendments. This bill was not a serious attempt to govern, it’s just a waste of the House’s time.”

Rep Richard Hudson, R-8, said on Friday he was voting “no” because the bill had no input from House or Senate Republicans or the White House.

He said it was a shame because people back home were hurting.

In contrast, Democratic Rep. Alma Adams, whose 12 district covers Charlotte, said she supported the bill because it “contains bills I’ve written and ideas I’ve worked hard to support: emergency funding to keep our most vulnerable students fed and healthy; essential health and safety protections and pay increases for our workers who supply our food and serve our seniors; desperately needed funding for housing and our states; and critical student loan debt relief.”

Adams said she was particularly proud to vote “yes” because “it’s a lot easier to keep an economy moving than trying to bring it back from a screeching halt.”

The bill passed 208-199, with 207 of the votes coming from Democrats.

NC legislature to reconvene on Monday

The legislature will reconvene today and reopen to the public.

The building’s maximum capacity will be 50% of fire code occupancy.

Each chamber of the General Assembly will maintain separate procedural rules regarding legislative sessions, committee meetings and voting practices. Members, staff, reporters and visitors will receive temperature checks upon entering the building. This policy will be reevaluated on a weekly basis.

Social distancing practices will be maintained. Committees will meet in the largest rooms available.

All members of the public and employees are encouraged to continue to use remote appointments for meetings where feasible.

NCDP To hold virtual state convention on June 6

The North Carolina Democratic Party announced Tuesday it will hold its state convention virtually on June 6.

The party held its county conventions in 92 of North Carolina’s 100 counties on April 25, and the district conventions were held virtually, too.

“While we won’t be gathering in person for this year’s state convention, moving to a digital platform gives us a chance to rethink our traditional format for this event and find innovative ways to energize our members as we look toward November,” said Meredith Cuomo, the party’s executive director. “After the incredible turnout we experienced with our County Conventions in April, we’re eager for Democrats across North Carolina to rally together and unite behind our slate of candidates.” 

The state convention will consist of sessions on party business, including the election of at-large and party leader and elected official delegates to the Democratic National Convention and presidential electors.