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Tillis Cites Time As Speaker As Strength Against Potential Primary Challenge. Here Are Five Lowlights Of That Record.

During a presser yesterday after filing his paperwork to run for reelection, Senator Thom Tillis “cited his record in the North Carolina General Assembly, where he served as speaker of the House” when asked about a potential primary, saying that record would set him apart from any primary challengers.

Here are a few lowlights from Speaker Thom Tillis’ record in Raleigh. 

1. Speaker Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion, which would cover more than 600,000 North Carolinians. Tillis brags about signing the law that prevents Governor Roy Cooper from expanding Medicaid and providing coverage for more than 600,000 North Carolinians. It’s not shocking that as a Senator, Tillis has repeatedly voted to gut the Affordable Care Act — the basis of Medicaid expansion — and its protections for 1.7 million North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions.

2. Speaker Thom Tillis championed a tax bill in 2013 that benefited the top earners, while eliminating tax breaks for middle class families, teachers buying school supplies and families saving for college. As Speaker, Tillis jammed a bill through the legislature that prioritized tax breaks for yachts and private jets over working families. The Raleigh News & Observer recently called the bill an “example of the false promise of trickle-down economics” and “a mistake that’s holding back North Carolina” that’s being felt by “state employees, teachers and state services.” Sound familiar? The GOP tax bill he supported in the Senate also disproportionately benefited corporations and the wealthy.

3. Speaker Thom Tillis gutted education funding in North Carolina. As Speaker, Tillis famously led the movement to cut $500 million from North Carolina’s education funding request, eliminating 9,000 teaching jobs across the state, increasing class sizes and cutting funding for textbooks.

4. Speaker Thom Tillis pushed bills opposed by military groups that would actually benefit predatory lenders by allowing them to hike interest rates. He did so while accepting over $30,000 from the industry.

5. Speaker Thom Tillis passed a strict voter suppression law that was struck down for targeting “African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The bill limited early voting and ended same-day registration.