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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A contentious North Carolina budget headed to Gov. Bev Perdue is getting more heated as Perdue breaks a logjam on unemployment benefits and a Republican leader was heard calling her “incompetent.”

The state House is scheduled to vote Friday and a final time early Saturday on the nearly $20 billion spending plan crafted by the Legislature’s Republican majority.

Perdue signed an executive order Friday aimed at extending federal unemployment benefits to some 47,000 long-term jobless workers caught in a tug-of-war between the governor and lawmakers.

The GOP-written budget includes the benefits fix, but Perdue appears ready to veto it.

A House Republican leader called Perdue “incompetent” for acting seven weeks after the benefits fight began. His words came during a closed-door GOP meeting which was mistakenly streamed over the Internet.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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