Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr
As regular readers of this newsletter know, earlier this month, Senate Democrats introduced the Veterans Job Corps Act. The stated goals of this legislation were laudable enough - to help veterans secure jobs - but the reality of it was nothing more than campaign politics at its worst.
This bill would have created temporary job opportunities for veterans, but rather than offer a pay-for provision, the Democrats chose to fund it using deficit spending. Deficit spending is in direct violation of the Budget Control Act, a bill that passed Congress with bipartisan support just last year. This means that the bill was subject to a budget point of order, meaning it would be defeated before ever receiving an actual vote because it is paid for by deficit spending.
Our veterans deserve all the help we can give them, so rather than simply let this legislation die, I introduced a fully paid-for substitute bill. My substitute would have gone even further than the Democrats bill to create long-term, sustainable jobs, not the temporary jobs included in the Democrat bill; it would have made it easier for veterans to transition the skills they gained through their service by making it easier for them to get licensed and credentialed in their chosen fields; and it would not have added a single dime to the national deficit. I know the Democrats liked my bill because they took those provisions and included them in their own bill, but they didn't do anything to address the underlying problems with their bill.
All the Democrats had to do was substitute my paid-for bill for their own version, and we would be on the track to passing a law that could actually help our nation's veterans. But, they didn't do that. When faced with the decision to allow a vote on a bill that could actually pass and create jobs for veterans or force a political vote to give them a talking point on the campaign trail, the Democrats opted for the political talking point at the expense of America's veterans. They refused to allow a vote on my bill, and they put their own bill - which they knew was destined to fail on the budget point of order - on the floor.
They had a chance to help our nation's veterans and their families by opening up career opportunities for them, and instead they chose the political route. I am hopeful we can work on legislation that would put our veterans back to work, but given the actions of the Democrats this week I have no reason to believe that they actually care about that.
Since the Senate has not passed an actual budget in over three years, we were forced to consider a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded at current levels for the next six months. There are so many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to start. First, the reason we were forced to take up a CR is because the Democrat majority hasn't even introduced a budget in the Senate to be voted on in over three years. Three years. Can you imagine what would happen if you didn't do your job for three years?
Aside from the fact that it is merely a temporary 'band-aid' of a fix, we are spending too much money to begin with, so why continue it at current levels? A responsible budget is a vital first step toward getting our economy back on track and reducing our massive debt. American families understand that times are tough, and they are making sacrifices in order to make ends meet. The federal government, on the other hand, continues to spend like there is no tomorrow. We need a serious budget that will tackle our economic crisis, work towards job creation, and provide for the security of future generations, not more of the same inaction and lack of resolve.
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