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McCrory threatens abortion bill veto
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McCrory threatens abortion bill veto
Governor tackles abortion, Moral Mondays, jobless issues in Wilson visit




While Gov. Pat McCrory was in Wilson Wednesday morning to congratulate Wells Fargo for expanding its loan program to farmers, he also had some words of warning for legislators.

Unless significant changes and clarifications are made addressing his concerns, he would veto the existing abortion bill, HB 695, if it is passed by the House and Senate, he said.

MCCrory said there were some technical issues that were not addressed in this bill.

He said new regulations can’t deny access to women’s health care. They should provide safety and health care.

By mid-afternoon Wednesday, the House had a draft of a bill that reflected some changes.

Under the Wednesday bill, the department is authorized to apply standards for surgery centers to standards for clinics to address on-site recovery, protect patient privacy and ensure patients with complications receive necessary medical attention "while not unduly restricting access.”

Physicians would still have to be physically present throughout the entire surgical abortion procedure and "in the same room as the patient” when she takes the first dose of a drug for a chemically-induced abortion such as RU-486. The department also will tell legislators by next spring what resources they need to adequately inspect clinics.

McCrory reiterated that he is "extremely pro-life” Wednesday, but said he is stepping on the toes of conservatives and those who are liberal also by pushing for changes in the bill.

"We specifically mentioned some changes – we believe in increasing some standards – we want to make sure some standards don’t overreach or deny access,” McCrory said in an interview with The Times after his breakfast with Wells Fargo executives and local farmers.

"We specifically mentioned some things we think can be done.”

McCrory said there were certain requirements, for example standards of hospitals, that he considered to be an overreach.

"And there were certain standards of what doctors can and cannot do that may have been an overreach,” McCrory said.

But he said he thinks there are workable solutions.

"My goal is the health and safety of the women and we’ve had some clinics that have been closed because they haven’t met the existing standards,” McCrory said. "I feel very passionately about these clinics meeting the current regulations and any new regulations are for the safety and health of women.”

McCrory said there are parts of the bill that are sound. He estimated 70 percent of the bill worked.

"You shouldn’t be able to have an abortion because you disagree with the gender of a baby – something like that is common sense,” McCrory said. "You want to relieve some health care workers who have religious reasons not to perform certain procedures – that they can step away without fear of loss of job.”

McCrory said he doesn’t know if legislators will override any potential veto of the bill.

"I hope to sign a bill, but the bill needs to be reasonable, sound and pragmatic and the major goal should protect the health and safety of women,” McCrory said.

McCrory said he is being critical of both the left and right in this instance.

"The left seems to think there needs to be no new regulations and everything is working fine. That’s not true,” McCrory points out. "The right, sometimes I think, is doing an overreach.”

The Senate has already passed the controversial abortion bill.

The bill that passed the Senate last week directed state health officials to create standards for abortion clinics "that are similar to those for the licensure of ambulatory surgical centers.” The bill also ordered that a doctor be "physically present” throughout an entire surgical abortion procedure and when a woman receives a chemically-induced abortion.

The House judiciary committee approved the substitute bill 10-5 that is designed to clarify expanded physician responsibilities and higher clinic standards.

The new bill contains other abortion-related measures that already passed the House this year. The measure would prohibit gender-selective abortions, curb abortion insurance coverage and expand the type of medical professionals that can conscientiously objection to participate in abortions.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT

McCrory said it was the fault of the federal government that North Carolina had to cut unemployment benefits by one third and also cut benefits paid from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.

Recently unemployment numbers for Wilson were reported at 13 percent.

McCrory said he needed to solve the unemployment insurance debt.

"So, President Obama, frankly, could have given us a waiver and we would have extended it,” McCrory said. "It was federal unemployment. What it did was not allow us to reduce our unemployment compensation equal to what South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee pays.”

McCrory said North Carolina paid the ninth highest unemployment rate in the nation and was bankrupting small businesses.

"We were $2.6 billion in debt,” McCrory said. "The president has not given me a waiver pass on the $2.6 billion that North Carolina owes.”

The previous governor and legislators borrowed $2.6 billion dollars – with no way to pay it back, McCrory said.

"I’m cutting up the credit card,” McCrory said. "You can’t live off a credit card. I’ve got to build up the economy. The one way you do that is get out of debt.”

But Alexandra Sirota, director of the budget and tax center for the non partisan nonprofit NC Policy Watch, said North Carolina’s unemployment debt was a non partisan decision made two decades ago.

"The reason for N.C. unemployment insurance debt was combination of policymakers from both parties giving tax cuts to employers in the 1990s when times were good,” Sirota said. "So that in 2000 for the first recession and around 2008 for the great recession, the trust fund balance was not able to deal with the historic job loss of the great recession.”

Sirota said North Carolina didn’t receive the waiver from the federal government because they didn’t follow the law to get the waiver like other states did.

"The states that got the waiver set their date for January 2014, not July 2013,” Sirota said.

And Sirota said North Carolina’s unemployment policies were unprecedented in the state.

"States like Arkansas took a maximum cut from $457 to $451,” Sirota said. "North Carolina went from $525 to $350.”

Sirota said she is concerned that people who are unemployed are paying most of the unemployment debt.

"We know that unemployment taxes increased to less than one percent of business costs,” Sirota said. "To say that hiring by small businesses is based on that one percent increase is not sound.”

Sirota said the backlash for the communities in North Carolina in the wake of the unemployment cuts could be great.

"Shorter weeks and less unemployment dollar benefits will mean workers will have trouble paying utility bills, house payments whether they are mortgages or rent,” Sirota said. "Towns like Wilson have not seen job growth.”

Sirota said the job of unemployment benefits is to keep people engaged in the labor force.

"It is to stick with people and provide a moderate general support until you can get that job,” Sirota said.

 

MORAL MONDAYS

McCrory said he has come out to hear what protesters are not happy about on the Moral Monday protests.

"I go out in the crowd all of the time,” McCrory said. "Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves moral by cussing me out. But that’s the way things go some times.”

Rob Schofield, of N.C. Watch Policy, said if McCrory has been coming to Moral Mondays he has done it in disguise and has avoided all media attention.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, said he has yet to see McCrory at any of the events either.

McCrory said he can identify with protesters because when he was mayor he also came to Raleigh at one point to protest.

He said on the occasion he protested he did not break the law as some Moral Monday protesters do.

"But I welcome, I welcome protesters,” McCrory said. "What I don’t accept is when they break the law.”

McCrory said the group has 30 to 40 issues, and he said there are many groups that come to the event each week, but he doesn’t accept protesters blocking democratic business.

"I don’t agree with them breaking the law and taking up valuable resources in that area to have to take them to jail,” McCrory said.

Schofield said he invites McCrory to come talk with them on Mondays.

"If he really wants to interact with this growing movement and its many legitimate concerns, he should come up to the podium and speak,” Schofield said. "Better yet, he should sit down and engage with its leaders in real and meaningful dialogue and condemn conservative groups – one funded by his budget director – that have printed scurrilous attacks accusing the Moral Monday leaders of corruption and theft.”

Barber said it is the governor who is disrespectful to the growing number of protesters assembled each Monday to have their voices heard.

"It seems that the governor is saying I’m hurting the poor and sick and disabled by denying Medicaid, but I’m doing it politely,” Barber said in a statement to the Times. "I’m snatching the only money unemployed people have away from them, but I’m doing it politely. I’m raising taxes on the working poor politely. I’m signing a bill that will hurt public education and allow racism in the court system, but since I’m doing it politely you should only criticize me politely.”

Barber said he does not personally condone cursing at anyone.

 

janet@wilsontimes.com | 265-7847
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Observant said...

Buck Newton has supported this anti-abortion legislation, which gives me pause. Last year, Newton claimed in an interview that Amendment One (the anti-gay marriage amendment) was not at all discriminatory. He privately made a statement that gay people are free to marry - as long as they marry someone of the opposite gender. I suspect he knows that's pretty stupid, so one has to look for another motivation fueling his agenda and that of his cronies. We don't have to look very far to find the real motivation - please recall that the wife of one of the GOP co-authors of Amendment One actually alerted us to the underlying strategy when she was overheard reminding a voter that the number of white infant births is declining. Makes sense in the minds of the not-so-bright: prohibit same-sex marriage so gays will enter into a relationship with someone of the opposite-gender - a coupling that has the likelihood of producing offspring. That would be white offspring - because I suspect a good many not-so-bright GOP folks think the majority of gay people are white. When Buck Newton was confronted with the fact that most mixed-orientation marriages end in divorce (estimated 85%), he shrugged his shoulders. Buck Cold-Hearted just didn't care about all the lives negatively impacted by his mixed-orientation marriage proposition. And it's that uncaring attitude that convinces me Buck Newton and his cronies really don't care about the lives of unborn children. Their anti-abortion support is a smokescreen, just as amendment one was. I believe that at the very core of their anti-abortion legislation is a racist motivation: no abortions means more white babies (because in their not-so-bright minds, I believe they know that white people do indeed seek abortions and in their money-lined pockets, think that white women who want abortions have the financial means to do so). So too, the GOP wants to impede the path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants who are people of color. Voter ID laws are not at all about one's proving their identity...that, too, is a way of trying to thwart the voting power of people of color. I believe there is a racist thread to all this "conservative" legislation. It is not at all about being anti-abortion or anti-gay or anti-citizenship for the immigrant. No - the larger theme is all about these white, GOP men running scared and desperately trying to maintain their white power in a country where white folks are destined to be a minority. The GOP would never admit this out loud - but thanks to the wife of an Amendment One co-writer, we've heard an inkling of the truth.

Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM
L McDouall said...

If 'Pants-On-Fire' McCrory was actually in the crowd and talking to people, and if they actually DID cuss him out, you think that wouldn't have been on video? pretty much everyone there except folks getting arrested takes lots of pix. This is history, and people are documenting. They'll be documenting your next lie too, Pope-Poodle. Some legacy!

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM
Ryan said...

Someone call the waaaaaaambulance for the governor! He's crying again!

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Motorcycle Bill? said...

If this legislature really wants to pass a motorcycle bill, why not pass one to get "liquor cycles" off the road? This is a growing menace to law abiding, licensed, properly insured drivers. All motor vehicles using our roads and highways should be operated by licensed, insured drivers. If you cannot get a license or insurance, you should not be operating a motorized vehicle on our roads. Its that simple.

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Update said...

As per the News and Observer Friday, July 12, there is NO evidence, video or otherwise, of McCrory in the crowd at ANY Moral Monday gathering. A lying governor, now that's shat we need, on top of all the other things he and his lot have done to NC.

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Mary said...

I find it impossible to believe that McCrory could be out in the crowd at any Moral Monday demonstration and not be spotted. It would have been all over the news and there would have at the very least been cell phone photos. He would have been spotted. I smell a lie. I don't trust this guy farther than he can throw a baseball.

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM AP said...

Perhaps the *Govenor* was standing with Elvis?
My question for the *Govenor* is this; how could he, with any amount of conscious, appoint Art Pope as his Budget Director and, how the HECK did he find it fit to give raises to his staff as one of his first actions in office when so many North Carolinians are unemployed?


Friday, July 12, 2013 at 9:18 AM blpadge2 said...

Can we say "Liar, Liar, pants on fire." This is the same POS governor who claimed to be in a meeting but was instead tossing a baseball with some staffers when public ed supporters wanted to deliver a petition with 16K signatures.

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 8:48 AM Thomas Harris said...

McCrory's comment that he has mingled with the Moral Monday crowds is a bald faced lie, and you should hold hiim accountable.

Friday, July 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM @ Grand Pa x 3 said...

Since when did these civic minded Republicans indicate they care about the poor? If they have, I want to hear about it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 6:10 PM what? said...

Why pray tell are they trying to push this through using the motorcycle safety bill? That's right they tied the two bills together! Woman have a right to choose what happens to their bodies and biker's have the right to choose helmets or no helmets! Both will likely be vetoed now they are tied together! More citizen rights being taken without public notice!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM Grand Pa x 3 said...

What about the "Pro Life" of a pregnant woman who
wishes to have a safe legal abortion for herself
on demand?
I stand by the old 1970's statement when the fight
was on to help women have abortion services"If
men got pregnant Abortion(rights) would be a
holy sacrament"
Those that object to abortion cannot have them but
a woman or couple that choose not to have babies
must have safe abortion services in their own
communities lest the illegal abortionists take
over. The rich can always travel to a country
or US State where abortion is not restricted.
The poor well?

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM NCphil said...

Just a question to clarify: When McCrory says "yesterday" he went to visit a Moral Monday, was the interview done on Tuesday? No snark intended here, just trying to understand when the interview took place. Thank you.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM Wondering said...

So our wonderful gov welcomes protesters, but what he doesn't accept "is when they break the law." Interesting. So he would not have supported Ghandi or King? I wish the reporter had asked him about that. Moral Monday protesters are not destroying property or injuring anyone. What McCrory means to say is that he supports protesters who agree with his point of view. How disconcerting.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 12:13 PM Mr. Dependable said...

Dear Pat - civility and morality are two different things.
Besides, if you'd been in the crowd, i think someone would have seen you. Especially since you claim to have spoken to people.
Where i come from, lying is also considered immoral.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM
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