Senator Richard Burr Newsletter

Fiscal Cliff Update
Another week has passed, and we are one week closer to going over the fiscal cliff with little progress being made in Washington.  Last week, the President offered a proposal that included a $1.6 trillion tax hike that would hit more than just the wealthiest 2% of Americans and called for even more federal “stimulus” spending.  This is not a plan that will help fix our economy, it is more of the same tax-and-spend policies that will do nothing but put us further in debt and hamper our recovery.
This week, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked for a vote on the President’s proposal, but Majority Leader Reid, knowing that not even a majority of Senate Democrats support the plan, declined to bring it up for a vote.  Later in the week, White House press secretary Jay Carney admitted that they do not have the votes in the Senate to pass the President’s proposal.  This just underscores how unserious the President’s plan really is.  If he cannot even get members of his own party to support it, he clearly knew it would not pass through Congress.  It is time for the President to show some real leadership, open up to compromise, and stop this dangerous charade that threatens our economy and the livelihoods of American families.
This is a serious crisis, and it requires serious effort and compromise.  Our fiscal problems have been long in the making, and we are not going to fix them with higher taxes alone.  Spending cuts, reform of our entitlement programs to ensure their solvency, and reform of our broken and burdensome tax code must be included in any serious plan to put our economy back on the right track.  Republicans stand ready to work on this and get creative with solutions to this complex, deep seeded issue, but so far we have not had a serious partner in the White House.  I am hopeful we can put politics behind us and come together to end this debate and avoid sending our economy over the fiscal cliff.
CRPD Treaty
On Tuesday, I voted against a treaty that would have jeopardized U.S. sovereignty and the ability of American families to make decisions on their own regarding what is best for them and their family members.  The stated goal of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Treaty was to protect the rights of the disabled, but in reality it would have done nothing to strengthen existing laws and protections and would have had the adverse effect of opening up our laws to international inspection and review from countries such as Cuba, China, and Syria among others.  America is already a beacon to the rest of the world when it comes to caring for citizens with disabilities, why would we allow nations with such abysmal human rights records to have a say in how we care for our own disabled citizens?
I strongly support the rights and protections of disabled American citizens, and I am proud that our nation has strong laws in place to advance the cause of the disabled.  During my time in Congress, I have supported – and participated in authoring –  laws and programs that make a real difference in the everyday lives of the disabled, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act,  and the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act.  The United States is a world leader when it comes to care for our disabled citizens, and we do not need to ratify a treaty that jeopardizes our sovereignty to prove that.  The best thing we can do is continue to be the gold standard for protecting the rights of those with disabilities and let our example serve to influence other nations to do the right thing as well.