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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

NC Congressmen Bishop, Budd Vote Against Coronavirus Bill

Two North Carolina Congressmen -- Dan Bishop of Charlotte and Ted Budd of Davie County -- voted against House legislation Friday that makes coronavirus testing for those who lack insurance free, as well as offering enhanced sick leave benefits and unemployment benefits.  

President Trump supported the bill, which passed the House 363-40.

No Democrats voted against the bill, which was supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Nine Democrats didn't vote.

On the Republican side, 140 members voted for the bill, and 40 voted no.

Seventeen didn't vote, including Mark Meadows in the 11th district. Meadows is self-quarantining after possibly being exposed to the coronavirus at the Conservative Political Action Conference. 

In response to an inquiry from WFAE, Bishop's press office issued a statement on the bill. 

"This bill, unveiled in the dark of night, loads an unfathomable new regulatory, financial and tax accounting burden on the smallest businesses in the country at their most vulnerable moment," Bishop said. "They can beg for one-by-one exemptions, but only by showing that the added burden will destroy them utterly."  

He said the National Federation of Independent Business opposes the bill, "and I cannot imagine how they could have done otherwise."

He added the bill "punishes small employers who already provide paid sick leave, tacking on two more weeks. And where an employee suffers a work-related coronavirus injury, this bill shifts costs from worker's compensation insurance carriers on to the small business."  

The bill will now go to the Senate.

Bishop voted in support on Wednesday of the $8.3 billion in emergency funds to fight the coronavirus. He was elected to the 9th Distrct in a special election last year. The 9th District covers much of south Charlotte and Union County, as well as six other mostly rural counties.

Go behind the headlines with WFAE political reporter Steve Harrison in his weekly newsletter, Inside Politics. Steve will provide insight about and analysis of local and statewide politics. Readers will gain an understanding of political news on the horizon and why it matters. 

While you're at it, go ahead and take a listen to our companion podcast:“Inside Politics: The RNC in Charlotte,” hosted by Steve Harrison and Lisa Worf.


Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.