It looks like North Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senate primary will be fought on the right – and set up an even clearer contrast to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
The three major GOP Senate candidates all would have voted “no” on the Congressional measure to end the federal shutdown and avert a default.
The Senate passed the measure 81-18 on Wednesday. Both N.C. senators – Republican Richard Burr and Hagan – voted in the majority. (Only three of the state’s nine GOP House members, Robert Pittenger, Howard Coble and Patrick McHenry, voted for the bill, which passed the House on the strength of Democratic votes.)
But three Republicans vying for Hagan’s seat opposed the bill.
Never miss a local story.
“Kicking the can down the road does not solve any problems, it only creates a bigger mess,” House Speaker Thom Tillis said in a statement. “The President and Congress owe the American people a fiscally responsible budget focused on ensuring a sound economy and a safe America ... I could not have supported this legislation.”
Greg Brannon, a Cary physician, was endorsed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on the day of the vote. Paul was a vocal opponent of the compromise.
“The deal ... gives President Obama carte blanche authority to increase our national debt and does nothing to address out-of-control federal spending,” Brannon said. “If elected, I will not support a debt ceiling increase unless it includes real spending reform such as the elimination of our economy's biggest threat, Obamacare.”
And Charlotte pastor Mark Harris blamed Democrats for what he called the “Obama/Reid” shutdown, a reference to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
“I could not support a bill to increase the debt limit without a plan to reduce government spending, and lower taxes,” Harris said. “We need real leadership in D.C. and it’s time North Carolina elected a senator that isn't so beholden to the president and the national Democrats.”