North Carolina legislators failed to repeal HB2, the controversial "bathroom bill," Wednesday night. The failure is a setback for Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, who had announced the imminent repeal of the law on Monday.
For now, the legislation, considered my some to be discriminatory toward transgendered persons, remains law.
Cooper, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, had announced that the law would be scrapped in special session this week, after the city council of Charlotte, the state's largest city, voted to repeal the ordinances that originally triggered the statewide legislation's passage.
"There was an agreement among everybody. That's why we called a special session," Cooper said. "What happened is they broke the deal."
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Cooper lamented that the Republicans didn't come through after his side "got the Charlotte City Council" to remove the ordinances, a step "they didn't particularly want to take."
Republican leaders in the legislature saw it differently.
Recent events prove Democrats "only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state's families, our reputation and our economy," state Sen. Phil Berger, R-N.C., said in a statement. Berger leads his party in the state's upper legislative chamber.
The failure to repeal the law comes after a tumultuous, brutally contentious series of events in North Carolina politics. Cooper narrowly defeated McCrory in the November vote, a matter that wasn't fully resolved until a month later. Republicans in the legislature have since moved to strip the governor's office of power.
McCrory, who has been criticized by some for allowing North Carolina to miss out on jobs and business as a result of the law, hailed the state's business climate in a statement following the repeal attempts failure. He said this is an issue that doesn't just affect North Carolina and may only be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
"As promised, I called a Special Session to reconsider a manufactured political issue that strategically targeted the city of Charlotte and our state by well-funded left-wing interest groups,"
The outgoing governor added, "North Carolina will continue to be one of the nation's leaders in job growth."