Friday, September 16, 2011

N.C.'s Sen. Burr says NO to Hurricane Irene relief for N.C.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Here’s something to remember the next time U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is up for re-election: The senior U.S. senator from North Carolina voted against providing disaster relief aid to North Carolina citizens and businesses hurt by Hurricane Irene.

The U.S. Senate voted 62-38 yesterday to provide $6.9 billion in emergency relief funds for fiscal year 2012. N.C.’s junior senator, Kay Hagan, worked to pass the measure. Burr, however, joined the GOP’s unprecedented efforts to delay disaster funding until reductions of an equal amount could be taken from other spending priorities. Burr wrote to The Outer Banks Voice news site that he was in favor of disaster relief for the battered Outer Banks and eastern N.C. farmers, but only if “it will be accompanied with offsets so that we can provide aid to those who need it without increasing our national debt.”

In simpler terms, Burr is busy in D.C. playing political chicken with the Democrats, so the people of N.C., who elected him to represent them and their interests, are just gonna have to hold their horses. Luckily, Burr and colleagues were defeated this time.

Crop losses in the eastern part of the state are reported to be the worst many N.C. farmers have seen in decades, but Burr decided playing political games was more important than working for his constituents. Don't forget, also, that Burr voted for billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq without asking for budget offsets, but when his own state needed emergency hurricane relief, he decided to “get tough” on deficits. If past experience with Obama’s stimulus spending is any indication, Burr will no doubt still show up for press photos and credit-hogging when the aid starts filtering into east N.C.

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