Local Politics

Burr wants action from lame-duck Congress

Posted November 3, 2010 3:53 p.m. EDT
Updated November 3, 2010 6:36 p.m. EDT

— Fresh off his re-election, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said Wednesday that he doesn't want to wait for the new Congress to convene in January to begin working on improving the economy.

Burr easily defeated Democrat Elaine Marshall and Libertarian Mike Beitler on Tuesday, becoming only the second Republican re-elected to the Senate from North Carolina. The late Jesse Helms was the first.

He said he plans to relax for several days in Winston-Salem before returning to Washington, D.C., on Nov, 15.

"We should have nothing else on our plate other than trying to get policies in place to turn this (economy) around," he said. "It's my hope that we'll go back and make (things) predictable immediately."

He cited as examples extending tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush, which are set to expire at the end of the year and cutting government regulation.

"We (need to) create a picture for the American people that they have confidence in so that they'll go out and take a little bit of risk and hire people back," he said.

On Wednesday morning, Burr handed out Krispy Kreme doughnuts to people at a local Exxon station where he often goes to meet constituents and discuss issues they want the government to address.

"Spending 30 minutes in here is sort of like what (former Republican strategist) Lee Atwater used to say about going into a bowling alley on Friday night – you learn exactly what's on everybody's minds," he said.

"I hope he gets things better. I hope the economy gets better. That's what I'd like to see," said Joe LeFevre, who works at the Exxon station.

Burr said he plans to work to repeal the national health care reform law passed in March and to cut federal spending by 20 percent. With the Senate controlled by Democrats and the House in Republican hands, he said he knows the moves will be difficult and will require compromise from both sides.

"It will be up to the White House as much as Congress to find areas of agreement and move forward," he said.