The squabble over the North Carolina House's budget override vote has turned into a public “he said, she said” showdown.
House Minority leader Darren Jackson said Republicans lied their way into a budget override vote on Sept. 11.
Jackson held a news conference on Monday to recap his account of the controversial vote. The representative called the event a “sneak attack.” House Speaker Tim Moore denied the claims.
“House Republican leadership lied about the session that morning, and they have continued to lie about it since,” he said.
Jackson alleges that security footage from the House will show that the vote was a coordinated effort by Republicans. He has taken a lie detector test and is calling on Republicans to do the same. Jackson also hinted at possible litigation.
Jackson said he was told by GOP Rules Chair David Lewis that there would be no voting at the 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11 session and that voting would take place at 1 p.m. instead. In return, he sent his caucus an email advising them of the same.
Lewis has denied having the conversation with Jackson but admits sending a similar text to a WRAL reporter.
Moore says the budget veto, which was on the calendar since July 8, was properly noted, and there was never a formal announcement of a no-voting session.
"Today’s press conference by Rep. Jackson was a pathetically transparent attempt to cover for his own failures to lead his caucus," said Moore. The veto override was held during a voting session publicly announced twice the day before, and it was on the House calendar."
Moore previously released audio from the day before where Lewis adds an item to the calendar for Wednesday.
Jackson said Monday that by leaving the item on the calendar for more than two months, Republicans may have violated public notice laws. He is willing to pay $400 each for Republicans Moore, Jason Saine and Jon Hardister to take a lie detector test. He also offered to share his lie detector test results with the media.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the legislature's budget proposal on June 28. Despite the General Assembly reconvening beginning the second week in July, no override votes were called until Sept. 11, when most Democrats weren't on the floor.
The Senate still needs to approve an override for it to be successful, but both chambers are on break until Sept. 30.
As Jackson’s press conference started, Cooper released a statement condemning lawmakers for taking a break from session before negotiating the budget.
“Republican leaders have made it clear that they prefer lies and bribes instead of compromise, and now they’ve left Raleigh without giving teachers a raise,” Cooper said.