Cooper criticizes Tillis for votes against capping insulin costs and veterans benefits

·3 min read

Hi all — Kyle here. Unfortunately, this will be my last newsletter for The News & Observer, as my summer internship comes to an end this week. It’s been an interesting time covering N.C. politics these past few months — a beat which never fails to surprise. The politics team here at the N&O is absolutely spectacular and it’s been a pleasure working alongside them. Here’s hoping this won’t be the last time you all see my byline.

Cooper calls out Tillis

Politics reporter Dawn Vaughan said that Gov. Roy Cooper doesn’t often call out political rivals on Twitter, but he did this week over U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ votes against capping insulin costs and veterans benefits.

“Last week @ThomTillis voted against helping veterans exposed to toxic chemicals. This week when he had the chance to stop companies from charging hundreds of dollars a month for insulin when it costs around $10 to make, he votes to let them keep doing it. He needs a values check,” Cooper tweeted.

While some thought it might be the Democratic governor signaling a future run for U.S. Senate against Tillis, a Republican, Cooper told reporters on Thursday that he didn’t know what he’d be doing in 2026.

“I just though that those two votes were outlandish and unconscionable and I feel like we needed to say something publicly about it,” Cooper said.

Dawn asked him why he chose to talk about these votes in particular.

“This was particularly egregious,” Cooper said, calling the votes “clearly for politics.” The governor said that putting political party over everyday people is “just wrong and needs to be called out.”

In voting against a bill on veterans’ exposure to chemicals, Tillis has said he’s wary of whether the federal government can implement the bill without delays in veterans receiving health care. And in voting against a $35 cap on insulin from private insurance companies, and the bill on climate and health care that contained it, he mentioned Cooper.

“It’s an insult to the intelligence of North Carolinians when politicians like President Biden and Governor Cooper claim that raising taxes and spending $740 billion on their far-left priorities will actually reduce inflation and stop the Biden recession,” Tillis said in a news release.

MORE FROM THE TEAM

Dawn Vaughan reports on what’s at play in the upcoming midterm elections. National issues like abortion and inflation are sure to affect the races, and Democrats are ramping up their ground game to encourage voters to go to the polls in November. Republican leaders, however, are confident they’ll not only maintain their majority in the legislature, but gain a veto-proof supermajority as well.

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is nearly a month late in filing his campaign finance reports, potentially racking up over $12,000 in fines, Danielle Battaglia reports. The news is just the latest in a string of bad news for the one-term congressman, who lost his primary back in May.

A criminal investigation into state Attorney General Josh Stein’s campaign will continue, a federal judge ruled. Will Doran reports that the judge reversed her own earlier ruling, in which she found that the law Stein is accused of violating appears to be unconstitutional. Stein’s campaign is being accused of breaking a nearly century-old law which makes it a crime to spread false information about a politician.

ALL UNDER THE DOME ALL THE TIME

Thanks for reading this week’s newsletter. Be sure to also check out our stories, our tweets and our Under the Dome podcast. All our politics stories post to our Under the Dome Twitter account, so be sure to follow it. We also have a pinned list on that Twitter account of the politics team so you can follow our work individually as well. And our new podcast episodes post every Monday to keep you informed about what’s coming up next.

— By Kyle Ingram, reporter for The News & Observer. Email me at kingram@newsobserver.com and follow me on Twitter @kyle_ingram11.