01.17.14

Legislative Update from Senator Richard Burr

This week, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the most detailed bipartisan report to date on the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The Committee's report presents a wide range of declassified findings that will allow the public to more fully understand the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi leading up to the attacks and the lack of State Department recognition of the danger to our personnel.

This bipartisan report is a step forward in our understanding of these events, but should not be viewed by any means as a final verdict. To the extent this report is incomplete, it is not due to the Committee's unwillingness to investigate, but the State Department's intransigence. It is our obligation and duty to continue to ask probing questions and investigate all details as they continue to come to light - as they invariably will.

Despite the Committee's best efforts to investigate all relevant threads of information, I still feel strongly that there remains a disappointing lack of accountability. It is my hope that this bipartisan report will serve as a foundation to continue this vital discussion and to search for more answers. To read the report,click here.

On Tuesday evening, Congress passed legislation that reauthorizes vital support to the poison control network, specifically the poison control center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and state grant program. The poison control network is an essential program that impacts thousands of lives every year through prevention and treatment efforts at centers across the country, and I know that the knowledge that help will be there when they need it most will give many Americans peace of mind. Read more about this legislation,here.

In case you missed it, Fox Business wrote a story on my legislation to consolidate the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor into a single entity, which was introduced last month. This legislation would save billions of dollars by eliminating duplicative functions and would improve the quality of our country's economic policies by ensuring a consistent, coordinated approach.

Legislation that consolidates government is the toughest legislation to get through here in Washington, but there is value in fighting for reducing the size of government and cutting federal spending. Read Fox's articlehereand more about the billhere.

Finally, as you may have heard, this week Congress passed legislation, also known as an "Omnibus" bill, that funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year. While I am pleased that we were able to avert another government shutdown, I could not in good faith support the Omnibus. Our nation has been on a precarious path of spending and debt, and this legislation does nothing to address the problem. Congress is tasked with funding our government, and we should do so in a fiscally responsible way. Neither this year's Omnibus bill nor the Ryan-Murray budget responsibly spends the taxpayers' hard-earned money, and both use legislative gimmicks to hide billions of dollars in additional spending. It is time for the Senate to return to regular order consideration of annual appropriations bills, and it is past time to exercise fiscal restraint in the halls of Congress.