FROM THE PRESS ROOM: NCGOP HONORS CONGRESSMAN HOWARD COBLE
NCGOP Press Release
July 15, 2008
RALEIGH—Congressman Howard Coble has been representing North Carolina's Sixth District in Washington since 1984. Today, he will pass former Senator Jim Broyhill as the longest serving House Republican in our state's history.
Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:
"I want to congratulate Congressman Coble on his historic achievement. Since the time of his first election to Congress, he has provided stalwart conservative leadership in Washington. He has also been a visionary on copyright laws and technological issues. Congressman Coble's tireless service on behalf of his constituents has become well known throughout the Sixth District and helped him to gain re-election eleven times. We look forward to sending Congressman Coble back to Washington this November to continue his admirable service in the U.S. House."
NC REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL OFFICIALS SUPPORT OFFSHORE DRILLING
After President Bush lifted the executive order that banned offshore drilling, many Republican Congressional representatives from North Carolina joined in support.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
"With the elimination of the executive ban on drilling on the Outer Continental
Shelf it is now up to Congress to give coastal states the ability to develop new sources of domestic energy. Until Congress lifts its ban on drilling, billions of barrels of American oil remain under lock and key….”
Congressman Robin Hayes
"I applaud the President's decision to lift the Executive Order prohibiting offshore domestic oil production, and frankly I wish he had taken this action sooner," said
Hayes. "Now the burden is entirely on Congress to take action on this issue and many people believe there are a majority of votes in the House of Representatives to approve increased production as well….”
Congresswoman Sue Myrick
"It's about time," said Rep. Myrick, who in June called on President Bush to lift the moratorium. "I'm glad that he's done his part to make our coasts available for off-shore drilling instead of just talking about it. Now it's up to Congress to pass legislation that does the same."
Congressman Patrick McHenry
“I’m continuing to fight for lower gas prices and American energy independence by supporting efforts to overturn federal bans on drilling for American energy resources and making investments in the development of alternative energy sources, including clean coal, nuclear, solar and wind,” McHenry said. “Unfortunately, the Democrat majority has blocked these efforts at every turn.”
REPUBLICAN SENATORS DOLE, BURR SUPPORT OFFSHORE DRILLING
North Carolina’s two senators are co-sponsors of legislation that would lift the ban on offshore drilling. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr are supporting lifting the ban after President Bush lifted an executive order this week.
Senator Elizabeth Dole
"The solution to our energy crisis is finding more and using less. Families struggling with record high gas prices can't afford for Congress to keep energy exploration options off the table."
Senator Richard Burr
"Four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline has affected every family in North Carolina, and it is time for the Democrat Leadership in Congress to stop blocking action and pass long-term energy legislation like The Gas Price Reduction Act, which I have cosponsored. This legislation would lift the congressional moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf exploration by giving states the ability to opt in on energy exploration off their coasts. We need a comprehensive approach to this energy crisis that allows us to find more and use less."
FROM THE BLOG: WHAT KIND OF BULLYING IS OK?
By Chris McClure
Executive Director, North Carolina Republican Party
July 15, 2008
The House and Senate will likely be voting on a bill today that will require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies that identify bullying as acts that may be based on a person's race, religion, physical appearance, or sexual orientation.
Am I missing something? Is defining "bullying" really a necessary job of the General Assembly? Are there school districts out there that are unwilling to punish bullying?
This is typical of Democrats to waste the state legislature's time fixing problems that don't exist by inserting themselves into decisions that are best made at the local level. Of course, bullying should be punished but it should be punished by local school districts, not meddlesome legislators in Raleigh on a power trip. By the way, isn't all bullying wrong even if it does not come within the guidelines of this definition? Would Democrats care to point out for me what types of bullying are acceptable? Are we suddenly to believe that bullying to steal lunch money or to make another kid do your homework is alright?
This is just the kind of bill that takes power out of the hands of local school officials and places it the hands of politicians in Raleigh by substituting their wisdom for the wisdom of teachers and school administrators. With so little wisdom to go around here in Raleigh, Democrats should save it for other endeavors.
Anti-bullying bill ready at General Assembly
RALEIGH, N.C. — The House and Senate are poised to take up a compromise school bullying prevention bill that restores a list of potential bullying activities.
Lawmakers who served as negotiators between competing versions of the measure have completed their work. Final votes in each chamber are expected Tuesday.
The House approved a version last year requiring school districts to adopt anti-bullying and harassment policies. The bill identified potential bullying acts as those that may be based on a person's race, religion, physical appearance or sexual orientation. …
NC DEBT KEEPS RISING WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL
By Gary D. Robertson
July 14, 2008
RALEIGH, N.C. - The General Assembly is forever in debt to a 1991 court opinion that allowed North Carolina governments to approve certain types of borrowing without voter approval.
If this year's budget bill is signed into law by Gov. Mike Easley, opponents of that type of debt are worried North Carolina's lawmakers may be tempted to refrain forever from traditional borrowing.
This year, the Legislature went on a borrowing spree in the budget, authorizing $857 million in debt over the next four years. That's the largest amount ever approved in one year without requiring a public vote. Most of the borrowing is so-called "special indebtedness" that will pay for 1,500 prison beds, more than 15 university and state buildings, even an oyster hatchery and the renovation of the polar bear exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo.
"If the Legislature can authorize a billion dollars of debt without a vote, why would they ever offer another bond issue again?" asked John Hood of the conservative John Locke Foundation and a frequent critic of nonvoter approved debt….
But the "special indebtedness" is a way to build essential construction projects faster than possible when public approval is required, an important option as steel and concrete prices soar, according to proponents. The state's construction industry will get a shot in the arm and could generate as many as 20,000 jobs, lawmakers said.
"The contractors are hungry and the interest rates are low and we have a big new group of university students on the way," said House Speaker Joe Hackney, D-Orange. "Together with the stimulus effect, all that argues in favor with going ahead."…
Republicans who voted against the budget said they were disturbed by the amount of borrowing, as well as spending cash on planning for an additional $1 billion in future projects.
If lawmakers follow recent patterns, GOP legislators argue, these future projects should be paid for in the next year or two with even more nonvoter approved debt, ultimately leading to higher taxes to pay for it all.
"So we're now going to add (payment) requirements over $100 million to the next three or four years," said House Minority Whip Bill McGee, R-Forsyth. "I think problems are coming for the taxpayer."
For now, State Treasurer Richard Moore's office said borrowing levels remain fiscally sound, even with the debt in this year's budget. Moore's annual debt affordability study advised lawmakers could borrow on average $479.7 million annually for the next five years. The borrowing in the budget is spread out over time to keep below the cap….
Easley, who must decide by Friday whether to sign the budget bill into law, has wrestled in recent years with whether to support nonvoter approved borrowing. He asked legislative leaders in 2005 to require voters statewide to approve any borrowing more than $25 million, with exceptions for projects involving public health and safety. But his fellow Democrats in the Legislature ignored the idea….
Hood likened the nonvoter-approved borrowing in recent years to the frog that will jump out of a pot filled with boiling water, but fails to notice a slowly rising temperature until it's too late.
"I think the taxpayers are at the risk of being cooked," Hood said.
OBAMA'S IRAQ PROBLEM: CHANGE THAT WORKS FOR HIM