A Message From Senator Richard Burr
Last Week in Review
TheSenate was back in session on Monday after a week of recess. Last Monday, May 30, was Memorial Day, and I was honored to attend a ceremony in Mt. Airy honoring the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our country.
I spent the rest of the week on the road visiting with students, touring North Carolina businesses, and meeting with North Carolinians who are moving our economy forward during this difficult time. To learn moreabout my travels, read stories from theAsheville Citizen-TimesandWinston-Salem Journal.
While I was back home visiting with the small businesses who drive our economy and provide jobs, we received more troubling news about our nation'seconomic recovery. On Friday, the Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report, which showed that our economy only added 54,000 jobs in May and that our unemployment rate is at a staggering9.1%. In order for employment to simply keep up with the growth of our population, our economy needs to add between130,000 and 150,000 new jobs a month.
The May job numbers are very disappointing, as they indicate that our economy is not recovering as it should be and may be heading back into recession. Even worse, despite the many promises made about the 2009 "economic stimulus" package and how it was going to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, it has become painfully clear that this $800 billion government spending package never delivered, and we are now even further in the hole when it comes to ournationaldebt.
This Week in Washington
Despite a Majority that seems content to sit idly by while our debt and unemployment continue to increase, I have introduced bills that will put America back on track to prosperity and fiscal responsibility. These bills include legislation to repeal the new health care law and drasticallyreform Medicaid,combine federal agenciesto cut wasteful and duplicative spending, andbalance our federal budget. Unfortunately, the Senate has been slow to act on these and other bills, but I will continue to push them and will keep you informed of their progress and my fight to reduce our debt, fix our broken health care system, and put Americans back to work.
Monday marked the67thanniversary of D-Daywhen Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and changed the course of history both for Europe and the world. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these and all of our nation's veterans.
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing on legislation pending in the Committee. Among the bills we discussed was theCaring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011,which would provide care for servicemembers and families who were exposed to water contaminants while stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. We were honored to have Jerry Ensminger testify about this bill. Jerry's daughter, Janey, succumbed to a rare form of leukemia at the age of 9as a result of exposure to toxins in the water at Camp Lejeune. I would encourage you to listen to his stirring testimony by clickinghere,and you can watch myopening remarksandother remarksI made at the hearing as well.
On Thursday, I attended a hearing of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee dealing with early childhood education. One of the topics we discussed was a bill I introduced,the Child Care Protection Act, which would require comprehensive background checks for child care providers. This legislation allows parents to be confident that their children are being taken care of by qualified individuals in a safe environment. Click here towatch my remarksfrom this hearing.
Despite the severity of the situation we are facing, Congress and the Administration are still debating how to handle our debt limit. Increasing the debt limit without balancing it out with spending cuts only adds to the problem and kicks the decision down the road. Stay tuned as we continue to discuss this vital issue.
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