- Piedmont Rising
NC’s UI System in Crisis, “No Man More Responsible for That Intentional Disaster Than Thom Tillis"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 11, 2020
ICYMI: North Carolina’s UI System Is in Crisis, and “No Man Is More Responsible for That Intentional Disaster Than Thom Tillis”
The Intercept Profiles Tillis’ Long History of Undermining Unemployment, Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security Safety Nets
Raleigh, N.C. - On Sunday, The Intercept published a profile of Senator Thom Tillis detailing his work in the North Carolina General Assembly and the U.S. Senate to undermine popular safety net programs, like unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. This new reporting on Tillis’ career-long hostility to such programs comes as the Winston-Salem Journal finds that North Carolinians are exhausting their unemployment insurance faster than residents of other states, thanks largely to program cuts Tillis pushed through the state legislature in 2013.
“Throughout his career, Senator Tillis has worked to undermine the safety net that millions of North Carolinians are depending on during this pandemic,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “In the face of this on-going public health and economic crisis, Tillis must set aside his personal hostility towards these critical programs, and instead step up to provide North Carolinians with the economic support and health care that they need.”
More from The Intercept:
Unemployment Insurance: “North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system is in crisis today, and no man is more responsible for that intentional disaster than Thom Tillis.”
“One of Tillis’s highest priorities [in the General Assembly] was knocking out one of the legs of the New Deal: unemployment insurance. The legislature, with Tillis in the lead, took just two weeks at the start of the 2013 session — the first time Republicans held a super majority and the governor’s mansion — to introduce and pass a draconian unemployment bill that cut the number of weeks the jobless could collect benefits from 26 weeks to 12, and slashed the maximum amount from $530 to $350.”
Medicaid: Tillis played “a lead role in blocking the expansion of Medicaid, costing some half a million North Carolinians health care coverage.”
“...to this day, the state has not expanded Medicaid, as Tillis ushered through a law in 2013 reserving that authority to the General Assembly alone. An analysis by the left-leaning North Carolina Budget and Tax Center last year suggested that as many as 350 North Carolinians die every year due to the lack of Medicaid expansion.”
Medicare and Social Security: Tillis singled out the New Deal and Great Society programs as times when “a lot of bad occurred, a lot of things we’re still dealing with.”
“Behind Tillis’s comments is a radical view of the role government ought to play in the economy, one that hasn’t been en vogue since the early 20th century….when he has had a chance to govern, he turned his hostility to the safety net into action...”