Senator Richard Burr: Keystone Pipeline, Innovation for Healthier Americans, No Child Left Behind

This week the Senate passed, 62-36, the Keystone XL pipeline legislation.  I am proud that this job-creating legislation passed the Senate in a bipartisan manner that allowed for lengthy debate and votes on many amendments.  This is how the Senate should run. It is my hope that the President does not ignore the wishes of the majority of Americans and signs this bill into law when it reaches his desk.

During the amendment process, I introduced an amendment to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which I mentioned in last week’s newsletter.  On Tuesday evening, I took to the floor to talk about the importance of LWCF. You can watch my remarks here or below.

Yesterday, the Senate voted on my amendment and it received 59 votes, sending a clear signal that the Senate supports a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). While the amendment needed 60 votes in order to meet a procedural hurdle, it proved that a bipartisan majority of the Senate supports the LWCF.

My colleagues and I have all seen LWCF protect iconic sites in our states, and I believe most of us can agree that the LWCF is the best dollar-for-dollar conservation program this body has ever created.  I will continue to champion this worthy program.

Thursday, Senator Alexander and I released a report on the challenges to getting safe treatments, devices, and cures to patients more quickly and effectively, examining what is working, and what isn’t, at the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

For decades, our nation has led the world in medical innovation, but the challenges of maintaining this edge have never been greater. Our report, “Innovation for Healthier Americans,” asks a simple but critical question – how can we do it better?  We are in an exciting era of medicine that holds tremendous potential to improve treatments and outcomes for patients.  But to realize this potential, we must ensure that our nation’s discovery and development processes are working as well as possible.  I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that the work of North Carolina’s researchers and innovators is reaching America’s patients in as timely a manner as possible, so that patients across our nation are able to benefit from cutting-edge medical products. Read more about the “Innovation for Healthier Americans” report here.

Finally, on Tuesday the HELP committee held a hearing on fixing No Child Left Behind. During the hearing, I had a chance to hear from and question educators, administrators, and experts in the education field. You can watch the questioning period here or below and the full hearing here.


        Richard Burr