Burr pans federal economic stimulus

Published 4:48 am Friday, February 20, 2009

By Staff
Also says he’s not worried by potential election foes
Staff Writer
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina roundly panned the federal stimulus package Thursday night.
He said while at a dinner for the Beaufort County Republican Party that the plan obligated the next generation’s funds without seriously stimulating the economy.
He added later, “There was only an interest in spending everything they can get through.”
But Burr said he hopes President Barack Obama will be willing to find ways to compromise with congressional Republicans, all of whom but three opposed the stimulus plan.
At the same time, Burr said congressional Republicans are working to keep party members unified against the stimulus package. He criticized Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Spector, a longtime Republican incumbent, who voted for the package.
But despite Burr’s opposition to the stimulus package, he was optimistic about the U.S. economy’s long-term position.
In fact, Burr said America must remember that vibrant economies abroad help provide markets for American firms, and that will remain so even after the U.S. recovers from the recession.
On another issue, he said his new bipartisan caucus — which focuses on preparing the country for an attack by weapons of mass destruction — will focus on public safety, not international military issues.
He specifically mentioned small pox vaccine and radiation pills, which would protect against biological attacks and attacks spreading radioactive material, respectively.The senator was vague on his 2010 reelection campaign plans.
He said he would run on a record of representing North Carolina’s values, and said he wasn’t worried by potential challengers whose names have been bandied about. They include Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, which incorporates Asheville.
Caption for corresponding photo: U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, from North Carolina, speaks in private Thursday night to a private group of donors at the Washington Yacht &Country Club. (WDN Photo/Paul Dunn)