Speaker Tim Moore's power grab
Published February 16, 2023
By Capitol Broadcasting Company
Stam is no fair-weather partisan and at the time was the Republican Majority Leader in the House. Every representative present – including then Rules Committee co-chair and now Speaker Tim Moore – voted for it.
Since ascending to the speakership in 2015, Moore runs the House how he wants.
It is curious as to why Moore wants to stack the deck even more in his favor. After the 2022 election gave Republicans a near veto-proof majority in the House, Moore declared: I will tell you, for all intents and purposes, we have a governing supermajority. We have a handful of Democrats who work with us.”
The point of the rule is not to give any political party or state official any advantage or disadvantage. The point is to make sure citizens know what’s going on and can hold their elected representatives fully accountable.
Giving notice on important actions – whether hearings and votes on bills before legislative committees, debates and votes in the state House or Senate – makes sure the public has a way to track and hold their elected officials responsible for their actions.
Votes taken on a moment’s notice deny the kind of accountability that citizens deserve from their representatives. Whether a governor’s veto of legislation passed is upheld or overridden isn’t merely part of some game being played. It isn’t merely the business of Tim Moore, Senate Leader Phil Berger or the 168 other legislators they serve with.
It is the conduct of the public’s business. And it should be done in an open and honest manner. Citizens deserve a legislature where EVERY representative has the opportunity to meet their obligation to the people who elected them – to craft, debate and vote on policy matters in a fully informed way.
Moore’s effort to jettison the provision his fellow Republicans initiated in 2011 is a repudiation of the legacy that put him in power – and an affront to the representative government every North Carolina citizen expects.
The provision – House Rule 44.2 – should remain. Legislators act on behalf of those who elect them. It is not the other way around.
Legislation is no game, votes shouldn’t be manipulated.