Burr: SOTU, Meals on Wheels, and Child Care

Senator Richard Burr
2015-01-24 09:53:28
Richard Burr, US Senator North Carolina This week the President gave his State of the Union speech � it was filled with words about working together and bipartisanship �and yet, in the two weeks leading up to the State of the Union, he threatened to veto multiple bipartisan initiatives without ever seeing legislative text. The President began the year with an opportunity to work with Congress on policies that would help restore economic prosperity to our nation but chose instead to double-down on more taxes, more debt, and more spending and expanding the size and scope of the federal government. However, I know Congress will continue to propose legislation that promotes economic growth, job creation, and a strong national defense. Finally, the last several weeks have proven that Al-Qaeda is not decimated. It is time for the President and his Administration to admit that and to seriously attack the threat that radical Islamic terrorists present to us and the rest of the world. This past Sunday, I joined Jim Scuitto on CNN�s show �State of the Union� to discuss terror threats. You can watch the interview below, along with clips from my interviews with Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, and Martha MacCallum. [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/jims.png] [link 1] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/wolfb.png] [link 2] CNN: State of the Union [link 3] CNN: The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer [link 4] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/loudobbs.png] [link 5] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/martha.png] [link 6] Fox Business: Lou Dobbs Tonight [link 7] Fox: America's Newsroom [link 8] On Wednesday, I introduced The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, legislation that supports social and nutrition services�from Meals on Wheels to senior centers�for nearly 12 million seniors. In addition to providing grants to states for senior social and nutrition services, the reauthorization also aims to protect vulnerable elders from abuse by increasing existing abuse screening and prevention efforts. The reauthorization also fixes the formula that decides how much money states receive, ensuring that the funding reflects where seniors are moving. Read more about The Older Americans Act here [link 9]. On the same day, I introduced legislation to help American families to address their dependent care needs � care for both children and elderly relatives. The Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act, would strengthen dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for American families by increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars that families can put into these accounts from $5,000 to $7,500.� The bill will also index this new cap to inflation so that the value of dependent care FSAs keeps up over time as the cost of child care continues to increase. Quite simply, this bill is one way to help American families stretch their dollars further in meeting their dependent care needs, whether it's for their kids or their elderly parents. The cost of child care is increasing, and by increasing the amount Americans can put into a dependent care FSA and indexing it to inflation, we will help ensure that these accounts continue to be a meaningful option for families. Read more about The Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act here [link 10]. Yesterday, I, along with a bipartisan group of colleagues, introduced Amendment 92 to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which would fully realize LWCF�s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. I have seen firsthand the role that the Land and Water Conservation Fund plays in acquiring land and maintaining North Carolina's reputation as one of the most scenic and unique states in the country. While our efforts to fully fund LWCF are ongoing, today�s amendment seeks to simply reauthorize the program permanently and before it expires at the end of this fiscal year. Our nation�s scenic treasures should not be put into jeopardy on a yearly basis for a simple reauthorization. It should be noted that rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas royalties gained from exploration on federally owned land and water. These funds ensure that there are parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation for future generations without adding to our debt. Read more here [link 11]. � Speaking of amendments, in the past three weeks the new Republican majority has voted on 25 amendments, 10 amendments more than what the Democrat-led Senate allowed in the whole of last year. Check out this neat graphic that the Senate GOP released today: [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/SRC.png] [link 12] ������� Sincerely, [image = burr.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/sig_block.gif] ������� Richard Burr [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-facebook-like.png] [link 13] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-linkedin-share.png] [link 14] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/common/images/sn-twitter-tweet.png] [link 15] Tell a Friend* Survey/Question [survey] E-mail Updates* *Yes, please periodically send me e-mail updates.** [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/clickherebtn.gif] [link 16] *By subscribing to my e-mail updates, you are authorizing me to send regular e-mail updates from my office to your e-mail account. [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/stay_connected.gif] [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/icon-ft-twitter.png] [link 17] �� [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/icon-ft-youtube.png] [link 18]�� [image = burr.enews.senate.gov/images/icon-ft-fb.png] [link 19]
January 24, 2015

This week the President gave his State of the Union speech � it was filled with words about working together and bipartisanship and yet, in the two weeks leading up to the State of the Union, he threatened to veto multiple bipartisan initiatives without ever seeing legislative text.

The President began the year with an opportunity to work with Congress on policies that would help restore economic prosperity to our nation but chose instead to double-down on more taxes, more debt, and more spending and expanding the size and scope of the federal government.

However, I know Congress will continue to propose legislation that promotes economic growth, job creation, and a strong national defense.

Finally, the last several weeks have proven that Al-Qaeda is not decimated. It is time for the President and his Administration to admit that and to seriously attack the threat that radical Islamic terrorists present to us and the rest of the world.

This past Sunday, I joined Jim Scuitto on CNN�s show �State of the Union� to discuss terror threats. You can watch the interview below, along with clips from my interviews with Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, and Martha MacCallum.

On Wednesday, I introduced legislation to help American families to address their dependent care needs � care for both children and elderly relatives. The Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act, would strengthen dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for American families by increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars that families can put into these accounts from $5,000 to $7,500.  The bill will also index this new cap to inflation so that the value of dependent care FSAs keeps up over time as the cost of child care continues to increase.

Quite simply, this bill is one way to help American families stretch their dollars further in meeting their dependent care needs, whether it's for their kids or their elderly parents. The cost of child care is increasing, and by increasing the amount Americans can put into a dependent care FSA and indexing it to inflation, we will help ensure that these accounts continue to be a meaningful option for families. Read more about The Child and Dependent Care FSA Enhancement Act
That same day, I also joined with a group of bipartisan Senators to introduce legislation to reauthorize and improve the Older Americans Act Act.

The Older Americans Act has been an important law to millions of senior citizens. In addition to continuing programs like Meals on Wheels, the bill we introduced this week aims to take additional steps to protect vulnerable elders from abuse by increasing existing abuse screening and prevention efforts. Read more about the Older Americans Act
On Thursday, I, along with a bipartisan group of colleagues, introduced Amendment 92 to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which would fully realize LWCF�s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

I have seen firsthand the role that the Land and Water Conservation Fund plays in acquiring land and maintaining North Carolina's reputation as one of the most scenic and unique states in the country. While our efforts to fully fund LWCF are ongoing, today�s amendment seeks to simply reauthorize the program permanently and before it expires at the end of this fiscal year. Our nation�s scenic treasures should not be put into jeopardy on a yearly basis for a simple reauthorization.

It should be noted that rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas royalties gained from exploration on federally owned land and water. These funds ensure that there are parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation for future generations without adding to our debt. Read more

Speaking of amendments, in the past three weeks the new Republican majority has voted on 25 amendments, 10 amendments more than what the Democrat-led Senate allowed in the whole of last year. Check out this graphic that the Senate GOP released:

        Sincerely,

        Richard Burr

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