05.17.13

Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr

As you may know, the House voted this week to repeal Obamacare, and I wholeheartedly support the effort to fully repeal this terrible law. However, if we don't have the votes in the Senate to repeal this law in full, then we should also seek to dismantle it piece by piece. That's why this week I introduced a bill with Senator Coburn that will repeal the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), Affordable Care Act's provision that commits federal taxpayer dollars to incentivizing states to expand their Medicaid programs, commonly known as Medicaid FMAP. The federal debt is soon to pass $17 trillion dollars and our entitlement programs are on a fast-track to bankruptcy. Instead of bloating government even more, we should be honest with the American people about what we cannot afford. This bill takes a critical step toward being honest with the American people about the unsustainable costs of the new health care law by repealing one of the Obamacare's signature pieces-the unrealistic, and unaffordable enhanced FMAP.Read more here.

Several weeks ago I re-introduced the Cape Hatteras Off-Road Vehicle Bill (read here) which has now reached committee. I am pleased that Chairman Wyden is committed to giving this important bill its proper consideration before the committee sometime in June. If you support this bill and North Carolina's local economy,please contact the Energy and Natural Resources committee and voice your opinion.I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure its passage into law and applaud Congressman Walter Jones and the House Committee on Natural Resources for their swift passage of the House companion bill.

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During yesterday's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing I expressed the concerns I have with Tom Perez's nomination as Labor Secretary. To watch my full remarks, click above.

Finally, I know many of you are rightly outraged by the recent revelations of mismanagement and corruption at the IRS. I want to assure you that you are not alone in your anger. As I said earlier this week, the deliberate targeting of any individual or organization for their political beliefs is inexcusable and threatens the very essence of our individual freedoms. I want to be very clear that I will not stand for this and my colleagues and I on the Senate Finance Committee are determined to get the bottom of this, hold people accountable, and find ways to ensure this never happens again.

It is critically important that we conduct a thorough investigation and subsequent review due to the far-reaching implications this situation has on the future of our country. The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, put the IRS in charge of enforcing the law. Given the current scandal at IRS, this is deeply troubling to me. Furthermore,the very IRS official in charge of the group under investigation for targeting conservative groups has now been put in charge of the very division that will enforce the President's health care.This is a troubling sign of what can happen when unaccountable agencies are granted vast power in a government that has grown too large to manage, and when congressional oversight is not allowed to take place or is blocked at every turn. As many of my colleagues and I have been saying for years, we desperately need to reform the federal government. If there is any good to come from these scandals, I hope it is that we can finally have an honest discussion about the size, scope, and reach of our federal government.

Sincerely,

Richard Burr