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10.22.20

Cal Cunningham Statement On Senator Tillis’ Rush To Confirm SCOTUS Nominee While NC Waits For COVID-19 Relief

Tillis Prioritized Rushing Through Supreme Court Nominee Who Is Hostile To North Carolinians’ Health Care Interests Instead Of Working Toward Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief

RALEIGH, NC — Today, Senator Thom Tillis helped advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to a lifetime spot on the Supreme Court, a nomination he has pursued earnestly instead of working around the clock to get real COVID-19 relief to struggling North Carolinians.  

Delayed action on badly-needed COVID-19 relief comes as North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 7.3% in September, an increase from August and twice the rate pre-pandemic, and as COVID-19 cases in North Carolina continue to climb. And even in the midst of this public health crisis, Tillis is pushing Barrett’s nomination despite the fact that she has  signaled support for “full invalidation of the ACA,” as the Court is set to take up a lawsuit in the coming weeks that would repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, including pre-existing condition protections for 1.7 million North Carolinians. 

A new CNBC/Change Research poll released this week 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. 

“It’s bad enough Senator Tillis was willing to back the President’s nominee to our Court sight unseen and forfeit his duty to the people of North Carolina to carefully vet lifetime appointees to our courts — now he’s shown he’s willing to do so at the expense of North Carolinians who badly need additional COVID-19 relief,” said Cal Cunningham. “Instead of doing the job he was elected to do and securing critical COVID-19 relief funding, Senator Tillis is once again caving to Mitch McConnell, too weak to stand up to his own party even when it hurts the people he serves.” 

Cal has made clear he believes North Carolinians should have their voices heard in this election before the Senate moves forward on a Supreme Court nomination, and then it should be up to the next President and next Senate to fill the vacancy on the Court. 

In stark contrast, Tillis backed President Trump’s nominee before  even knowing who it would be, despite the clear threat to North Carolinians’ health care. Tillis has long tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and its pre-existing condition protections by any means necessary, recently reaffirming his support for the Republican-led lawsuit that would invalidate the law in full. 

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 giving five paid speeches at programs run by the alliance defending freedom, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.”