Burr Statement On The State Of The Union Address By President George W. Bush

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement regarding the President Bush's State of the Union Address:

"Tonight, the President outlined goals for his final year in office. He talked about the need for a modernized system to care for our veterans, strengthening and improving our kids' education, making sure our economy remains strong and making sure we have the tools we need to effectively fight the War in Iraq.

The President's call to take on the challenges facing our nation's veterans is more than welcome. I believe veterans face confusing, bureaucratic programs and lots of paperwork. We devote a lot of resources to these programs, but we need to modernize the VA system for all veterans and provide much needed reform to improve benefits.

In this fast-paced global economy, all of our children must be equipped with the academic skills needed to succeed. I agree with the President's call to strengthen No Child Left Behind and I introduced legislation last year that does just that. My legislation builds on and improves No Child Left Behind by responding to the legitimate concerns of parents, teachers, and principles, while preserving the foundation that has made the program successful--accountability.

Access to affordable, personal health care is an issue that touches every American. Last year, I introduced the Every American Insured Health Act to provide access to affordable, high-quality health insurance through the free market for all Americans, regardless of age, income or employer. I believe everyone should have access to affordable health care, and I urge my colleagues to work to pass this bill to lower costs and provide access to health care for every American.

I appreciated the President's remarks on the economy. I understand that many North Carolinians have concerns about the economy because of continuing fluctuation in the financial markets and in the housing market. I continue to believe that the best way to foster economic growth is to keep our taxes low and to keep government spending under control. I applaud the President's call to make the tax cuts permanent and I also welcome the President's pledge to veto appropriations bills that do not adequately cut the number of earmarks. We have a responsibility to spend the taxpayer's hard-earned money wisely or not at all, and the President's pledge to cut wasteful spending will keep more money in the hands of taxpayers.

Finally, President Bush's description of the progress made in Iraq was encouraging. Gen. David Petraeus and the brave men and women who are fighting in Iraq have made progress in the past year, and Americans should be proud of their hard work. I continue to believe we must succeed in Iraq and that success will define the security for our children and for generations to come."