Under the Dome

Dome: Burr quiet on dinner with Obama

March 7, 2013 

Richard Burr

U.S. SENATE PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO

Sen. Richard Burr declined an interview to talk about his dinner with President Barack Obama on Wednesday night. But he posted this on his Facebook page

“Last night, I joined a group of Republican Senators and the President for a discussion about our economy and our national debt.

“The problems facing our nation are numerous, complex, and cannot be solved in a single night, but I am hopeful the President will work with Congress to fix our entitlement programs so they are viable for future generations of Americans and reform our tax code so that we can encourage economic growth, promote job creation, and provide a prosperous future for American families and businesses.”

There wasn’t a lot of other information about what was discussed.

A senior White House official told reporters Wednesday night: “The President greatly enjoyed the dinner and had a good exchange of ideas with the Senators.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who also attended, said in a statement Thursday that the dinner was “productive and substantive.”

Gun bill moving ahead

Patrick Gannon reports in The Insider that House Bill 17, which would allow those with concealed carry permits for handguns to carry them in “eating establishments” and “restaurants” as defined in statute, was quietly moved out of the House Rules Committee and referred to Judiciary Subcommittee A on Monday.

Gannon writes:

“Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, said patrons carrying guns wouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol while in those establishments, as it’s illegal to consume and carry. The bill also would allow restaurant owners to prohibit guns on their properties by posting signs, and Burr said theater owners could do the same. He said he sees the legislation as a “common sense” way to allow responsible gun owners to protect themselves and others in places where violence can occur. A bill that would have allowed permit holders to carry their guns in restaurants passed the House in 2011 but stalled in the Senate.

“Burr’s bill also would exempt information about concealed handgun permits and pistol purchase permits from public scrutiny. Burr said that part likely would be considered separately in committee within a couple of weeks. …

“Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, said Wednesday he believes, based on conversations with new and returning senators, that there is consensus in the Senate to allow concealed carry of handguns in restaurants this year. ‘It will depend on what it looks like,’ he said. He said such laws already exist in about 30 states and don’t seem to cause problems. ... He added that he believes the state should try to expand areas where permit holders can carry guns ‘wherever possible and wherever it makes sense.’ ”

Ad presses to reduce deficit

The North Carolina Chapter of Fix the Debt has released its first web ad that seeks to put pressure on Congress to reduce the deficits.

The ad features a family going over a budget with an accountant, with expenditures far in excess of income and a mounting debt.

“Folks in North Carolina know that they can’t operate a family budget by spending so much more than they take in year after year, so why has it taken years of deficit spending for leaders in Washington to figure this out,” said Zach Smathers, a North Carolina steering member and founder of Clarity Technology Group.

“The ad applies family accounting to the federal budget and clearly lays out the fact that an American family couldn’t survive for very long spending so much more than they take in,” he said.

Staff writer John Frank and Renee Schoof of McClatchy Newspapers

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