Saturday, April 02, 2016

Obama Administration Considers Cutting Federal Funding to North Carolina

According to a story in the New York Times, North Carolina Republicans may be about to feel severe consequence for their self-prostitution to Christofascists in the form of horrific economic damage to the state's economy and education system.  How so?  Apparently, the Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing.  Yes, that is billions with a "B".  As previously noted, the EEOC has held that anti-gay and anti-transgender discrimination violates the Civil Rights Act, so there would be precedent for holding North Carolina liable for its state wide discrimination against LGBT citizens.  Personally, I hope all federal funding is cut and North Carolina is brought to its knees economically.  Mississippi should face a similar fate.  Here are story highlights:
The Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s new law on gay and transgender rights makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing, officials said Friday.
Cutting off any federal money — or even simply threatening to do so — would put major new pressure on North Carolina to repeal the law, which eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and restricted which bathrooms transgender people can use. A loss of federal money could send the state into a budget crisis and jeopardize services that are central to daily life.
Although experts said such a drastic step was unlikely, at least immediately, the administration’s review puts North Carolina on notice that the new law could have financial consequences. Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina had assured residents that the law would not jeopardize federal money for education.
But the law also represents a test for the Obama administration, which has declared that the fight for gay and transgender rights is a continuation of the civil rights era. The North Carolina dispute forces the administration to decide how aggressively to fight on that principle.
Anthony Foxx, the secretary of transportation, first raised the prospect of a review of federal funding in public remarks on Tuesday in North Carolina. The Department of Transportation provides roughly $1 billion a year to North Carolina. The New York Times then asked other federal agencies whether they were conducting similar reviews.
A Department of Education spokeswoman, Dorie Nolt, said on Friday that her agency was also reviewing the North Carolina law “to determine any potential impact on the state’s federal education funding.” She added, “We will not hesitate to act if students’ civil rights are being violated.”
The agency said it provided $4.3 billion to North Carolina last year for kindergarten through 12th grade as well as colleges. Any decision on federal aid would take time, experts said. Federal agencies have used the threat of lost money to pressure a handful of municipal governments in California and Illinois to change their policies and allow transgender students to use the restrooms of the gender they identify with. There is no recent precedent for the federal government’s applying similar pressure to address a state law that it sees as discriminatory. Mr. McCrory, a Republican who is seeking re-election, and other supporters of the law have been aware, but dismissive, of suggestions that the measure might endanger the state’s federal largess. Mr. McCrory’s office did not respond to messages on Friday. The Obama administration would not need to go to court to withhold grant money, but doing so would surely lead to a court fight, especially since the law is unsettled.  

Again, an example needs to be made of North Carolina - and Mississippi - to send a loud message to Republicans that the days of granting special rights to Christian extremists is over and that religious based bigotry will carry a very high cost.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

These are states in which many people vocally decry the federal government, so I would like the federal teat to be denied them.