Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr

On Tuesday, the President delivered his State of the Union Address to the American people. The address sounded a lot like rhetoric we have heard from him in years past, but as we have learned, actions speak louder than words.

Words alone will not turn our economy around and put America back on the right track.I hope the President will work with Congress to reform our entitlement programs so they are viable for future generations of Americans and fix our tax code so that we can promote job creation, encourage economic growth, and provide a prosperous, fiscally sound future for American families. To read a statement I released following the State of the Union, click here.

This week, the Senate continued to hold confirmation hearings on the President's nominees to serve in his Administration. I spoke with Bo Thompson on WBT's Charlotte Morning News this morning about these hearings,click hereto listen to that interview.

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Jack Lew, the President's nominee to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. I have concerns about this nomination and asked Mr. Lew about his role in the aftermath of the attacks in Benghazi, about his role in creating the plans for sequestration, and about why the executive branch excluded itself from Obamacare. Click on the photo below this paragraph to watch a video of my questions and his responses.

On Wednesday, the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), a bill I introduced last week,passed out of the HELP Committee. This bill will help ensure that America is prepared to respond to a wide range of medical and public health emergencies, whether they are naturally occurring like the H1N1 virus or the result of a terrorist attack. I am hopeful this bill will come to the floor soon so we can pass it out of the full Senate and strengthen our ability to respond to medical and public health emergencies. To learn more about this bill, click here.

On Friday, I introduced a bill that would fully realize the Land and Water Conservation Fund's (LWCF) promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. I have seen firsthand the role that the Land and Water Conservation Fund plays in acquiring land and maintaining North Carolina's reputation as one of the most scenic and unique states in the country, and I am proud to support efforts to ensure that these funds are used for their original purpose -- to preserve parks and other wildlife spaces for future generations.

Rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion - $900 million each year - of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas royalties gained from exploration on federally owned land and water. In North Carolina, LWCF has protected many key public lands including Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, Nantahala National Forest, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. To read more about this bill, click here.