Partisan gridlock: A legislative week passed with no one blinking in the staredown over employment benefits and the state budget. The disagreement between the parties will leave 37,000 long-term unemployed without benefits for a second week.
To recap: The legislature passed, with no Democratic votes, a bill that ties extended federal unemployment benefits with a provision that essentially disarms Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue in budget negotiations.
Perdue vetoed the bill, and extended benefits ended for the 37,000 people on Saturday.
Democrats want to the legislature to pass the unemployment benefits without the budget attachment. Republicans say no dice. They want four House Democrats to vote with Republicans to override Perdue's veto. Senate Republicans have a veto-proof membership advantage.
So there they sat, with little public discussion for most of this week.
House Minority Leader Joe Hackney sent out a statement Thursday afternoon.
“The Republican majority again sat idly this week as 37,000 unemployed people in North Carolina went without benefits," the Orange County Democrat wrote. "They are making the people of this state who are looking for work pay the price for their inaction.”
Benefits will be paid retroactively if there's an agreement sometime this year.