Under the Dome

Burr: I still want to repeal health care law

April 2, 2010 

Republican Sen. Richard Burr said Thursday that he has not budged from his "repeal and replace" position on the new health care law passed by Congress.

Burr said his recent remarks about supporting revisions in the health care law had been misconstrued.

"Somebody asked me about the likelihood of repeal," Burr said after speaking to the Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club. "I said that given that the president would be in office for two and half years it's unlikely that he would" sign such a bill.

"But I said that was not going to stop us in the interim from making incremental changes that members of Congress thought we needed," Burr said. "I think that is the basis of the discrepancy."

The Democrats have issued a flurry of news releases in recent days accusing Burr of flip-flopping on the issue with headlines such as "Burr back tracks on health care repeal pledge" and "Burr now hedging on repeal."

Hagan visits war zones

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is wrapping up a seven-day trip to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, she described her impressions of the war zone, meetings with foreign leaders, and visits with North Carolina-based troops.

"The people I met with from North Carolina were happy to see someone from North Carolina come see them at their base," said Hagan, a Democrat and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"They asked me to encourage more House and Senate members" to visit, she said. "I'm proud of what they're doing and the goals they're accomplishing."

I did it: U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge is putting a spotlight on his vote in favor of the health care bill. It's probably a good thing, because if Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, didn't do it, the Republicans would.

Negative campaign: The problems for state Senate candidate Frankie Bordeaux keep coming. To begin with, the Greenville Democrat had some challenges going up against incumbent Clark Jenkins. Now Bordeaux, who has made an issue out of the state's overpayment of mental health claims, is himself on the hook for $4.2 million in overpayments to his family's company.

A full hearing: N.C. Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer continued to press for a State Board of Elections hearing into Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's campaign financing. The board's executive director said Fetzer's news conferences aren't adding up to much.

In other news: Perdue found out in a last-minute phone call that President Barack Obama was planning to move ahead with oil exploration off the state's coast. The state did not win a share of the first round of "Race to the Top" federal education money. Americans for Prosperity is trying to help organize the loosely organized tea party movement in North Carolina.

By staff writers Rob Christensen, Lynn Bonner and Benjamin Niolet

rob.christensen@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4532

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