Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our senators stand up to Congress

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I just about missed this news last week, what with all of the holiday hubbub. In case you did, too, here's a snippet from The Bellingham Herald — a Washington state paper — about North Carolina's senators Burr and Hagan standing up to their peers. Kudos to you, senators.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr this week quietly blocked a massive defense authorization bill after he discovered that someone had inserted 38 words into a bill that Burr feared would hurt victims of water contamination at Marines Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.

It worked.

Burr and his fellow North Carolina senator, Democrat Kay Hagan, took on the defense authorization bill after they discovered that an amendment they'd written that prohibited the Navy from making decisions about health claims related to the Lejeune water contamination issue had been rewritten. The rewritten amendment would have let the Navy act after it had given a 45-day notice.

The senators and other advocates had wanted no decisions made until federal scientists finished a host of studies that, many believe, will connect the contamination to a variety of cancers and other illnesses. They feared quick decisions would allow the Navy to make decisions that wouldn’t fully compensate victims.

Read the rest of this article, by Barbara Barrett, here.

Sen. Burr is supposed to be questioning Navy nominees in this video, but he actually does a great job of summarizing the issues at the base. Check it out:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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