One of the early lines in Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s acceptance speech this morning after his re-election to the top post in the Senate seemed especially ironic given the week’s events. Here’s what Berger told his colleagues.
Senators, as we make tough decisions, think of the families out there struggling to make ends meet, sitting around their kitchen tables, balancing their check books, saving for retirement or a college education for their children. Think of them as we craft bills and cast votes.
That’s what Berger said Wednesday morning. Just 24 hours before, a committee of leaders of the House and Senate approved a plan  that would make the harshest cuts in the country to benefits for unemployed workers. (Read more about the draconian proposal in Tuesday’s Fitzsimon File and today’s Weekly Briefing )
Maybe what Berger really meant is that Senators should think about families struggling to make ends meet, and then vote to make their lives even harder by catering to the wishes of the well-connected lobbyists from the N.C. Chamber whose plan would rip new holes in the state’s tattered safety net.