Health Care Update
The Senate continues to debate a health care reform proposal that will likely not be voted on until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. In an attempt to secure the 60 votes needed to pass a bill, Majority Leader Reid is crafting proposals and making deals with members of his party who are seen as on-the-fence, particularly on the issues of abortion coverage and a government plan.
Unfortunately, this process continues to take place behind closed doors. It is our understanding that once he secures a commitment from 60 Senators to support the measure, Majority Leader Reid will immediately move to end debate and force a vote on the deal he has negotiated. He is able to do this under Senate rules once he achieves the threshold of 60 Senators. Given this, it is unclear how long Senators and the public will have to review the final bill before the Majority Leader's self-imposed Christmas deadline.
I will continue to oppose this bill until we can come together on real solutions that lower health care costs and help every American access quality and affordable health care. The Senate will debate this bill throughout the weekend and next week.
Other Senate News
On Tuesday, North Carolinians travelled to Washington D.C. for a rally to let their elected officials know how they feel about health care reform. I enjoyed meeting many of the North Carolinians who stopped by my office throughout the day, and I am glad to see people taking such an active role in influencing the decisions that will affect the lives of Americans for generations to come.
On Wednesday morning, I spoke with Curtis Wright of the Big Talker FM in Wilmington to update listeners about the ongoing debate on health care reform. To listen to the interview, please click here.
I also got the chance this week to speak with Bill LuMaye on WPTF in Raleigh, NC. We also spoke about health care reform and how this bill would impact North Carolina. To listen to the interview, please click here.
Yesterday, I was proud to join Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) in introducing the Child Care Protection Act of 2009. This bill will require comprehensive background checks for licensed child care providers, including state and federal fingerprint checks, sex offender registry checks, and a check of child abuse and neglect registries for all licensed, regulated, and registered child care providers.
When parents leave their children in the care of someone else, they want to know their children are in a safe place. Current requirements for background checks do not meet parents' expectations, and most states fail to ensure that child care providers have undergone a complete and thorough background check. This bill will reassure parents that their children are being taken care of by qualified individuals in a safe environment.
For timely updates from Washington, please visit my blog by clicking here.
U.S. Senator Richard Burr
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