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Medicaid, budget fight test North Carolina governor’s clout

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jul 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-27 08:30:54-04

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper often got steamrolled by Republicans who held comfortable legislative majorities during his first two years on the job, but that’s changed since his party made electoral gains.

Cooper has issued far fewer vetoes this year, as Republicans have sent him fewer pieces of contentious legislation because they no longer have veto-proof power. Democratic legislators also stood united with Cooper in upholding his veto of a “born-alive” abortion bill.

Cooper’s leverage is now being tested in a budget stalemate, as he pressures Republican legislators to expand Medicaid. He vetoed the state budget last month in part because it failed to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of people.

Republicans accuse Cooper of holding up what they call a great budget because of a “Medicaid-or-nothing ultimatum.”