FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2019
Contact: Robert Howard, RobertHoward@ncdemocraticparty.org
Legislators from hurricane-affected counties outline how their constituents can’t afford another delay in relief
Raleigh – Last week, Lt. Governor Dan Forest threw his support behind a government shutdown, stating that “you do have to shut down the government” and, in a separate interview, attacking Democrats in favor of a clean bill reopening the government for trying to score “political points.” Forestnoted, however, that the “that whole process” related to farmers getting relief from the NC Department of Agriculture “has shut down” and is “a couple weeks behind.”
Senators Smith (SD-03) and deViere (SD-19) and Representative Butler (HD-18), elected officials from areas still recovering from recent hurricanes, along with NCDP chairman Wayne Goodwin released the following statements in response.
“Eastern North Carolina, especially Beaufort, Bertie, and the third district, can’t afford a government shutdown and the slowed hurricane relief that comes with it,” Sen. Smith, who represents Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance, and Warren counties and is a former chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, stated. “Our statewide leaders should be speaking out against this pointless shutdown, not encouraging it. African-American and minority communities bore the brunt of recent hurricanes and by supporting this shutdown, Lieutenant Governor Forest is turning his back on these important communities, not representing them.”
“The government shutdown is delaying recovery efforts to Cumberland county families and farmers, slowing our response to harmful chemicals like GenX, and causing vital community resources like the Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County to shutter services,” Sen. deViere, who represents Cumberland county, said. “Our leaders should be working for the people of North Carolina. True leadership shines when one advocates for those who are in distress.”
“Families across Brunswick and New Hanover have been devastated by Hurricane Florence and the petty bickering in Washington is threatening to slow relief funding for people in great need,” Rep. Butler, representative for Brunswick and New Hanover county, said. “Any elected official in North Carolina who is supportive of this shutdown is putting their own political career ahead of the citizens of North Carolina.”
“Dan Forest’s support for a pointless government shutdown that has hammered North Carolina farmers and families is a slap across the face for families still recovering from devastating hurricanes,” NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin said. “Forest only knows how to talk to the far-right extremists in his party – not the whole state – and his support for a shutdown that is now actively hurting North Carolinians shows how little respect he has for people suffering from this pointless shutdown.”
Among those most affected by the government shutdown are North Carolina farmers and those recovering from recent hurricanes. Kent Revels of Revels Farms in Fuquay-Varina told WNCT, “They’re playing a game of basically Russian Roulette, and it affects the people out here.” Meanwhile, federal funding, including a $168 million award from the US Housing and Urban Development, is currently unusable without publication in the Federal Register.