Under the Dome

Dome: McIntyre one of 2 Democrats voting to defund Obamacare

Staff writersSeptember 21, 2013 

North Carolina U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre was one of only two Democrats who joined House Republicans in voting to defund Obamacare on Friday. Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah was the other.

Their votes allowed one Republican leader to declare it a “bipartisan effort.”

Meanwhile, North Carolina Republicans Renee Ellmers, Robert Pittenger and Robert McHenry – despite earlier objections – went along with the GOP strategy to risk shutting down the federal government in a stalemate with the Senate.

McIntyre is once again in what will be an expensive and close battle against challenger David Rouzer, a former Republican state senator whom he defeated last time around.

After Friday’s House vote, Majority leader Eric Cantor applied some heat on Democrats in Republican states, including Sen. Kay Hagan, to vote to repeal Obamacare.

“How about Kay Hagan in North Carolina?” Cantor said in a news conference attended by other GOP House members. “Does she understand the consequences that Obamacare is having in her state?”

“Carlie C’s grocery store President Mack McLamb has said it’s not ‘feasible or sustainable’ to extend coverage for all 1,100 employees that he has,” Cantor said. “He, too, may have to cut hours for much of his workforce.”

Partisonship on issues

Here is what North Carolinians think on several key issues, according to a new Elon University Poll.

Abortion: Forty-five percent say the state should make access more difficult, while 41 percent believe access to abortion should be less difficult. There is a wide disparity between parties, with 58 percent of Democrats believing abortions should be less difficult, while only 21 percent of Republicans disagree.

Gay marriage: Forty-seven percent of voters oppose same-six marriages, while 43 percent support it. Democrats (58 percent) are much more likely to support it than Republicans (21 percent.)

Teacher tenure: A majority of voters (53 percent) support a teacher tenure law, which the legislature recently abolished.

Teacher pay: A majority (81 percent) think teachers are paid too little. The legislature did not provide a pay raise this as teacher salaries have sunk to 46th in the nation.

Energy exploration: North Carolina voters support constructing wind energy facilities on the coast (80 percent), fracking for natural gas (47 percent) and use of nuclear energy (47 percent).

Immigration: Just over half believe immigrants benefit North Carolina because of their hard work and job skills, while 40 percent believe they are a burden because they use public services. Democrats tend to have a far more positive view of immigrants than Republicans.

Drug testing: The legislature overrode Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a bill that allows drug testing before receiving some welfare benefits. A majority (74 percent) support such drug testing.

Minimum wage: A majority (69 percent) support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour.

Catawba Indian casino: The Catawba Indian Nation in South Carolina has proposed building a gambling casino near Kings Mountain. McCrory has said he opposes the idea. The poll found that 46 percent of voters support the idea while 43 percent of supporters oppose it.

The survey of 701 registered voters was conducted Sept. 13-16 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.

Berger on run: Monday

State Senate leader Phil Berger is saying he will announce Monday whether he will challenge Hagan, according to The Washington Post.

Most of the betting is that Berger will remain in the Senate, where he is regarded as the most powerful figure in the Capital. He has encouraged one of his lieutenants, Sen. Pete Brunstetter to look at the race.

On the other hand, Berger has been running TV ads in the Greensboro market, which is near his home in Eden and where his son, Phil Berger Jr., might run for Congress if Howard Coble retires.

A number of other Republicans have already announced their candidacies, most notably House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Rob Christensen

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