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RALEIGH, NC — Senator Thom Tillis caved to his party once again today, rubber-stamping the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
Instead of working toward a badly-needed COVID-19 relief package this month, Tillis has helped rush through Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, even as Barrett has signaled support for a full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act with the Supreme Court poised to take up a Tillis-backed lawsuit to repeal the ACA, including pre-existing condition protections. Mitch McConnell had Tillis’ vote locked up weeks ago, as Tillis publicly supported President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before even knowing who it would be.
“With today’s vote, Senator Tillis placed his partisanship over both his own statement of principles and the needs of North Carolinians,” said Cal Cunningham. “By rushing through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court during an election, while failing to deliver the COVID relief that our people need, Senator Tillis shows us again that he works for Washington and not the people of North Carolina. By voting to confirm a judge who has expressed open hostility to the Affordable Care Act two weeks before the ACA is on the court docket, Senator Tillis is striving to do through the courts what he failed to do in the Senate – take away health care from North Carolinians, even now that we’re in a pandemic. The stakes in this election couldn’t be more clear: many North Carolinians wouldn’t survive six more years of Thom Tillis.”
A recent CNBC/Change Research poll found that nearly 66 percent of likely voters nationwide would like Congress to focus on passing COVID-19 relief rather than confirming a Supreme Court Justice, including 62 percent of voters in battleground states like North Carolina. Seven in ten respondents said that the economy is struggling and the country needs more financial help. The poll was released even before North Carolina hit a record-high daily COVID-19 case number of 2,716 on Friday.
And Judge Barrett’s health care record isn’t the only issue at stake for North Carolinians. In addition to calling the decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act “illegitimate,” Judge Barrett also signed an open letter that called for “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade” and gave five paid speeches at programs run by the alliance defending freedom, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an anti-LGBTQ “hate group.”
Cal has made clear he believes North Carolinians should have had their voices heard in this election before the Senate moved forward on a Supreme Court nomination, and then it should have been up to the next President and next Senate to fill the vacancy on the Court.
At the same time, Cal has been repeatedly pushing Tillis to pass COVID relief for months. Last week, Cal reiterated the five things he would like to see in a COVID package that reflect the needs of North Carolinians.