Richard Burr, US Senator North Carolina
Wednesday evening the
House passed a piece of legislation Senator Casey and I have been working
on for nearly 8 years. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
Act passed with broad bipartisan support, 404-17.
I am incredibly
pleased that the House passed the ABLE Act this week. Families of
individuals with disabilities often face overwhelming financial burdens
associated with the expensive costs of healthcare, education, housing and
transportation. The ABLE Act will make it easier for parents of
disabled individuals to invest in their child�s future, thereby opening the
door to a world of opportunities. More info about ABLE Act can be
found here [link 1].
USA Today called the ABLE Act �the first major
piece of legislation affecting Americans with disabilities in nearly 25
years� [link 2] and Politico called it the �sleeper hit� of this
Congress. �With more than 380 cosponsors in the House and 78 cosponsors in
the Senate, the ABLE Act is most supported legislation in this
The ABLE Act is also supported by the National Down Syndrome
Society, Autism Speaks, The Arc, Collaborations to Promote Self
Determination, the National Disability Institute and the National Fragile X
Yesterday, I held a press call with Senator Casey and Down
Syndrome advocate Sara Wolff. Sara shared some of her story and why
the ABLE Act is so important to her future. Senator Casey and I talked a
little about the ABLE Act and the process for getting it to where it
is today. You can see a picture of us below.
This weekend, the
House champions of the ABLE Act -- Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers,
Congressman Pete Sessions, and Congressman Ander Crenshaw -- will be
delivering the Weekly Radio Address to highlight the House�s passage of
the bill. The address will be available starting tomorrow morning�here
I am confident the Senate will swiftly pass the ABLE Act
in the coming week.
In other news, I am also pleased to
announced that yesterday afternoon the House passed H.R. 4435, a bill that
includes legislation I authored known as the Preserving Public Access to
Cape Hatteras Beaches Act (S. 486).� After significant effort earlier
in the week, we ensured that my legislation on Hatteras access would
be included as part of the larger legislation that the House of
Interference from outside interest groups and
Federal restrictions on beach access have crippled local businesses along
the Cape Hatteras National Seashore for years � it has impaired the
local community and its economy. This House vote is a win for North
Carolinians and tourists from around the country who wish to visit North
Carolina�s scenic treasures. This has been a long journey that required
compromise on both sides of the aisle in order to see it through. I
feel confident that my Senate colleagues will swiftly pass this
legislation and unlock the beauty of North Carolina�s shores. You can read
more about the Hatteras Beach Access legislation here [link 4]. Also,
Island Free Press had a great piece breaking down some of the �inside
baseball� behind the Hatteras legislation, read here [link 5].
Monday, I joined Senator Casey at a Politico Pro Briefing to discuss
whether the U.S. is prepared to handle a public health emergency,
highlighting the recent Ebola response efforts in West Africa and here as a
You can watch the discussionin full here [link 6]�or by
You can read some of the highlights
from our conversation on innovation, leadership, and the importance
of public-private partnerships when confronting public health crises
here [link 8].
Finally, I introduced a resolution this week
recognizing the heroic acts of the Montagnards, an indigenous tribespeople of
Vietnam. My resolution is an historic first in the Senate, which has
not previously honored these brave individuals who fought alongside the
United States military during the Vietnam War.� It also condemns the
Government of Vietnam for its ongoing and reported violations of the
Montagnards' basic human rights, including the freedom to practice their
faith without fear of persecution.
More than 60,000 Montagnards
assisted U.S. troops as interpreters, scouts, and soldiers during the
war. After the Vietnam War, the U.S. resettled thousands of Montagnards
as refugees to escape persecution from the Vietnamese government.
Currently, the largest population of Montagnards outside of Vietnam
resides in North Carolina, but Montagnards also resettled in other states,
including in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and
Washington.� It�s time we honored their contributions, and you can read
the text of the resolution here [link 9].
������� Richard Burr
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