Local News

Richard Burr Talks About Life As New U.S. Senator

Posted March 4, 2005 4:42 a.m. EST

— It was early January when Richard Burr took the oath of office as U.S. senator. He said that in that short time, he has already learned a lot.

Burr has some thoughts about the public's perception to Social Security and the White House plan to allow some of a worker's money to be invested in a private account.

"The lack of engagement by the American people as the president tries to engage them in a national debate on an issue that affects every American is alarming to me," Burr said. "I think that choice is an important part of what Americans should have as it relates to their finances."

Burr served five terms in the U.S. House before moving to the Senate. Even though his landscape has changed due to the war in Iraq, he said the decision-making process has not.

"It's never comfortable to vote to send our troops somewhere on our behalf," Burr said.

As the war drags on and American casualties rise, Burr said he is committed to the effort and sees progress.

"What the Iraqi elections and the leadership of George Bush has caused is that the norm may become democracy in the Middle East and the exception may be dictatorship," he said.

Burr said the top issues he hears from the voters still focuses on jobs and the economy. He believes North Carolina will keep its military bases and he is hopeful the current federal judicial nominees of the president will soon be confirmed. He is also pleased with recent tort reform.

During the 10 years he served in the House, Burr never stayed in Washington for the weekend. He has continued that tradition, coming back to the state weekly to talk with voters.