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RALEIGH, NC — Senator Thom Tillis is failing once again to stand up to Mitch McConnell and call for real action to address COVID-19 relief, prioritizing his re-election bid over relief for struggling North Carolinians, even as the case count and unemployment rate in North Carolina are on the rise.
Press reported Tuesday that McConnell warned the President not to agree to a relief package before Election Day out of fear that a stimulus package “[c]ould mean the end of their majority if it scares away fiscally conservative voters” and “[c]ould interfere with their hasty timetable for confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by early next week.”
This news 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. Meanwhile Senator Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are actively trying to stave off a pre-election COVID-19 relief bill.
Instead of seeking a bipartisan compromise to help provide relief to North Carolinians struggling to get through this economic crisis, Senator Tillis has stood behind Mitch McConnell at every turn, delaying action for months and instead focused on fast tracking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
Tillis’ rush to fill the SCOTUS vacancy is another example of how out of touch he is with North Carolinians, as a new national poll found that 66% of voters believe the Senate’s top priority should be passing additional COVID-19 relief, not advancing a SCOTUS nominee.
“It is bad enough that Senator Tillis did nothing as the federal government colossally botched the pandemic response — now he is flat-out ignoring the wishes of his constituents to pursue a lifetime appointment to our court, instead of the COVID-19 relief North Carolinians want and deserve,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “For Thom Tillis, who is on a path toward losing this Senate seat, the last six years have been about one thing: his own political survival. Instead of playing politics while North Carolinians’ health and livelihoods hang in the balance, he needs to stand up to Mitch McConnell and pursue real, bipartisan COVID relief.”
Cal Cunningham has been outspoken about the need to provide COVID-19 relief, releasing his priorities for the bill in May and holding Tillis accountable for his failure to act. Yesterday, Cal released five things that should be included in the Senate’s stimulus package including extended federal unemployment benefits, relief for small towns and cities, sufficient funding for schools, resources for small businesses, and a Medicaid expansion incentive.