Around the South for Jun. 7: SC, NC & VA


South Carolina: Graham, Kentucky in healthcare conflict. US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told US News, “In all honesty, I think (the healthcare replacement bill) is stalled in Congress.” He added that US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was “irretrievably gone.” A staffer for Paul said that Graham “should not make public statements on behalf of Senator Rand Paul… [who] remains optimistic the bill can be improved in the days ahead and is keeping an open mind.” Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said he expects a bill “in the near future.” ……. North Carolina: Cooper wants a bigger budget. The News & Observer reports that Gov. Roy Cooper (D) says the legislature isn’t willing to spend to meet the needs of the state. “I’m looking for more vision from this budget,” Cooper said. “They don’t have to squirrel it all away or give it to those who already have.” GOP leaders disagreed. (So what’s new?)…….Virginia: Taylor supports gay rights bill. US Rep. Scott Taylor (R) of Virginia Beachlast week became the second Republican in Congress to cosponsor the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation to the existing civil rights laws, reports the Washington Post. US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtenin (FL-Miami-Dade) has been a long-time cosponsor of the bill, but she is not seeking reelection …….