North Carolina GOP Reps To The Feds: Don’t You Dare Defund The Tarheels!

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May 10, 2016 1:21 p.m.

In a Monday letter to the Department of Education, all 10 GOP members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary John King demanding that he not cut off education funding to the state over its controversial law keeping transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

“We request that you provide us with immediate assurances that you are not directing or otherwise condoning any efforts of your agency to curtail federal funds designated for North Carolina based on a perceived violation of law that was passed by Congress,” the GOP members wrote, demanding a response from King by Friday.

The letter, which was first reported by McClatchy, was signed by Reps. Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Mark Walker, George Holding, Mark Meadows, Robert Pittenger, and Patrick McHenry. The state’s three Democratic members of Congress did not sign the letter.

The GOP members argued that a decision by the federal government to withhold funding from North Carolina over the law would be unprecedented.

“As Members of Congress from North Carolina, we are deeply troubled by the threat that the Department of Education would withhold federal funding from North Carolina in response to the enforcement of House Bill 2,” they wrote. “We strongly believe that any move to withhold federal funding from North Carolina is without legal merit and an unprecedented overreach by the federal government.”

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They argued that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act does not specifically address “gender identity.”

“There is no evidence to prove Congress intended Title IX to protect an individual’s internal sense of gender instead of his or her biological sex,” the Republican members wrote. “Furthermore, federal discrimination law is set by Congress, and it does not single-handedly evolve by executive fiat.”

Both the Department of Justice and the North Carolina governor on Monday announced competing lawsuits asking courts to consider the legality of the state’s controversial law regarding transgender people and bathroom use.

Read the letter:

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