A group of Republicans in the North Carolina legislature is taking aim at reducing the power of the state’s newly elected Democratic governor.
The lawmakers called a surprise special session for the GOP-controlled General Assembly on Wednesday to introduce measures that would strip incoming Gov. Roy Cooper of vital capabilities, The News & Observer reported.
The group proposed measures to make Cabinet appointments subject to approval by the state Senate, strip the governor’s control over election boards and end the governor's ability to appoint members to the state Board of Education and the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees.
Both chambers in North Carolina have large Republican majorities. North Carolina's outgoing Republican governor, Pat McCrory, who conceded a loss to Cooper after challenging the results for a month, would have to sign the bills into law if passed by both chambers.
“Some of the stuff we’re doing, obviously if the election results were different, we might not be moving quite as fast on, but a lot of this stuff would have been done anyway and has been talked about for quite some time,” said state House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis.
State Democrats vehemently oppose the legislation.
“This is an unprecedented, shameful and cowardly power grab from the Republicans,’’ said Jamal Little, spokesman for the state’s Democratic Party, according to The New York Times.
“After losing the governor’s office, the GOP-controlled General Assembly is attempting to hold on to power that voters took away from them.”
The effort to undercut Cooper’s imminent leadership comes at the tail end of a long-fought battle by McCrory, who refused to concede the election for a month and fought results in several counties. McCrory conceded last week.