Richard Burr Significance Contest: Updated

We're out to discover a piece of significant legislation where Burr has been the out-front leader.

The person making the most compelling case showing how the Senator has led an important initiative in Congress will receive a $100 $250 reward. Please provide links to actual votes and final language of laws passed. We'll do a BlueNC community poll on the last day of August to determine the winner.

Thanks for helping us discover the truth. Please post your findings below.

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Comments

Just to get you in the mood

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S.413 Graduate to a Better Future Act

After perusing Sen. Useless' record, the best I could come up with S.413, the Graduate to a Better Future Act.

It appropriates $500 Million to the Department of Education to improve the interface between secondary schools and public universities. This legislation would help foster the graduation rate by informing students about the necessity of higher education for today's workplace and counseling to that end.

Everything else was weaksauce. I'm all for recognizing veterans and providing benefits, but the rest of it was pure crap. Delaying tarrifs on certain chemical imports and recognizing NC college sports teams does not a sparkling resume make.

burr.senate.gov

A good entry!

I'll do some digging to find out if it was his baby ... or if he was just skating along on someone else's initiative. Thanks for breaking the ice.

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240 reads

and only one nomination for a significant accomplishment? How sad is that? You'd think that Burr loyalists would chime in just to pick up a hundred bucks for the cause. Oh ... my bad. A hundred measley bucks doesn't mean anything to Do Nothing Dick.

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That's Easy!

Remember when Richard Burr weakened controls on the export of high-enriched uranium in the 2005 omnibus energy bill? You might not, since Burr's amendment to do so was actually defeated on the floor of the Senate (I was actually around for that vote). What you may not know is that Burr slipped his language back in while the bill was in conference. It's complicated, but basically the Burr Amendment allows for the exportation of uranium that's pure enough to be used in dirty bombs - all because a Canadian company (MDS Nordion) didn't want to pay the cost of making their medical radioisotopes from less dangerous low-enriched uranium.

For a summary, go here.

tl;dr - "The energy bill, including the Burr amendment, was passed by Congress on July 29, 2005, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005."

If you're in want of a Money Quote:

Enactment of the Burr amendment threatens to undermine the longstanding U.S. goal of phasing out commerce in bomb-grade uranium, thereby undermining the war on terror.

Richard Burr is good for something - making the world less safe from the spectre of nuclear war.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

The Specific Bill

A description of the Burr Amd. from the CRS report (p41-42):

Medical Isotope Production (Sec. 630). Highly enriched uranium (HEU) can be exported to Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands for production of medical isotopes in nuclear reactors. Those countries are exempt from requirements (under Section 134 of the Atomic Energy Act) that they agree to switch to low-enriched uranium (LEU) as soon as possible and that LEU fuel for their reactors be under active development. Instead, those countries must agree to convert to suitable LEU fuel when it becomes available. NRC must review existing security requirements for HEU used for medical isotope production and impose additional requirements if necessary. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is to study the potential availability and cost of medical isotopes produced without HEU. If the Secretary of Energy certifies that U.S. medical isotope demand can be reliably and economically met with production facilities that do not use HEU, NRC may no longer grant the export exemptions.

The full text of P.L. 109-58 Sec. 630:

SEC. 630. MEDICAL ISOTOPE PRODUCTION.
Section 134 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2160d)
is amended—
(1) in subsection a., by striking ‘‘a. The Commission’’ and
inserting ‘‘a. IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection
b., the Commission’’;
(2) by redesignating subsection b. as subsection c.; and
(3) by inserting after subsection a. the following:
‘‘b. MEDICAL ISOTOPE PRODUCTION.—
‘‘(1) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:
‘‘(A) HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM.—The term ‘highly
enriched uranium’ means uranium enriched to include concentration
of U–235 above 20 percent.
‘‘(B) MEDICAL ISOTOPE.—The term ‘medical isotope’
includes Molybdenum 99, Iodine 131, Xenon 133, and other
radioactive materials used to produce a radiopharmaceutical
for diagnostic, therapeutic procedures or for
research and development.
‘‘(C) RADIOPHARMACEUTICAL.—The term ‘radiopharmaceutical’
means a radioactive isotope that—
‘‘(i) contains byproduct material combined with
chemical or biological material; and
‘‘(ii) is designed to accumulate temporarily in a
part of the body for therapeutic purposes or for
enabling the production of a useful image for use in
a diagnosis of a medical condition.
‘‘(D) RECIPIENT COUNTRY.—The term ‘recipient country’
means Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, and the
Netherlands.
‘‘(2) LICENSES.—The Commission may issue a license
authorizing the export (including shipment to and use at intermediate
and ultimate consignees specified in the license) to
a recipient country of highly enriched uranium for medical
isotope production if, in addition to any other requirements
of this Act (except subsection a.), the Commission determines
that—
‘‘(A) a recipient country that supplies an assurance
letter to the United States Government in connection with
the consideration by the Commission of the export license
application has informed the United States Government
that any intermediate consignees and the ultimate consignee
specified in the application are required to use the
highly enriched uranium solely to produce medical isotopes;
and
‘‘(B) the highly enriched uranium for medical isotope
production will be irradiated only in a reactor in a recipient
country that—
‘‘(i) uses an alternative nuclear reactor fuel; or
‘‘(ii) is the subject of an agreement with the United
States Government to convert to an alternative nuclear
reactor fuel when alternative nuclear reactor fuel can
be used in the reactor.
‘‘(3) REVIEW OF PHYSICAL PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall review the
adequacy of physical protection requirements that, as of
the date of an application under paragraph (2), are
applicable to the transportation and storage of highly
enriched uranium for medical isotope production or control
of residual material after irradiation and extraction of medical
isotopes.
‘‘(B) IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—If the
Commission determines that additional physical protection
requirements are necessary (including a limit on the
quantity of highly enriched uranium that may be contained
in a single shipment), the Commission shall impose such
requirements as license conditions or through other appropriate
means.
‘‘(4) FIRST REPORT TO CONGRESS.—
‘‘(A) NAS STUDY.—The Secretary shall enter into an
arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to
conduct a study to determine—
‘‘(i) the feasibility of procuring supplies of medical
isotopes from commercial sources that do not use highly
enriched uranium;
‘‘(ii) the current and projected demand and availability
of medical isotopes in regular current domestic
use;
‘‘(iii) the progress that is being made by the
Department of Energy and others to eliminate all use
of highly enriched uranium in reactor fuel, reactor
targets, and medical isotope production facilities; and
‘‘(iv) the potential cost differential in medical isotope
production in the reactors and target processing
facilities if the products were derived from production
systems that do not involve fuels and targets with
highly enriched uranium.
‘‘(B) FEASIBILITY.—For the purpose of this subsection,
the use of low enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes
shall be determined to be feasible if—
‘‘(i) low enriched uranium targets have been developed
and demonstrated for use in the reactors and
target processing facilities that produce significant
quantities of medical isotopes to serve United States
needs for such isotopes;
‘‘(ii) sufficient quantities of medical isotopes are
available from low enriched uranium targets and fuel
to meet United States domestic needs; and
‘‘(iii) the average anticipated total cost increase
from production of medical isotopes in such facilities
without use of highly enriched uranium is less than
10 percent.
‘‘(C) REPORT BY THE SECRETARY.—Not later than 5
years after the date of enactment of the Energy Policy
Act of 2005, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a
report that—
‘‘(i) contains the findings of the National Academy
of Sciences made in the study under subparagraph
(A); and
‘‘(ii) discloses the existence of any commitments
from commercial producers to provide domestic requirements
for medical isotopes without use of highly
enriched uranium consistent with the feasibility criteria
described in subparagraph (B) not later than
the date that is 4 years after the date of submission
of the report.
‘‘(5) SECOND REPORT TO CONGRESS.—If the study of the
National Academy of Sciences determines under paragraph
(4)(A)(i) that the procurement of supplies of medical isotopes
from commercial sources that do not use highly enriched uranium
is feasible, but the Secretary is unable to report the
existence of commitments under paragraph (4)(C)(ii), not later
than the date that is 6 years after the date of enactment
of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Secretary shall submit
to Congress a report that describes options for developing
domestic supplies of medical isotopes in quantities that are
adequate to meet domestic demand without the use of highly
enriched uranium consistent with the cost increase described
in paragraph (4)(B)(iii).
‘‘(6) CERTIFICATION.—At such time as commercial facilities
that do not use highly enriched uranium are capable of meeting
domestic requirements for medical isotopes, within the cost
increase described in paragraph (4)(B)(iii) and without
impairing the reliable supply of medical isotopes for domestic
utilization, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a certification
to that effect.
‘‘(7) SUNSET PROVISION.—After the Secretary submits a certification
under paragraph (6), the Commission shall, by rule,
terminate its review of export license applications under this
subsection.’’.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Positive Spin

First, this is one of the few things we know Burr was the outfront leader on for years.

Proponents of this change claim that it allows radioisotopes vital to modern medicine to be produced cheaply and efficiently so they can be delivered to American markets. So if we're not being cynical, there's the not cynical spin.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Reward now raised to $250

http://www.enctoday.com/news/burr-67536-kfpress-term-first.html

Not even Burr can name anything he's done of significance

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What a bonehead

“We have got to spend more time understanding how the global marketplace impacts us,” he said. “I hope we will begin to change policies in this country so that global manufacturing is a profitable thing for American companies to do.”

Lenox China, which Burr toured on Tuesday during the August break from the Senate, should serve as a great example of a company not outsourcing their production, he said. Lenox can say they maintain “Made in America” status — which is once again becoming the preferred standard, Burr said.

First he talks about policy changes to help American companies profit from "global manufacturing" (outsourcing), then he pats a company on the back for not outsourcing?

Still no takers?

How sad that there's only two possible entries to attest to Burr's significance ... both of which are backhanded compliments at best.

How much must the reward be raised? Would $1000 garner a serious submission? Perhaps there's no amount of reward that can make up for a sixteen-year record of incompetence and laziness.

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Another day with no hint of Burr's significance

This is getting really sad.

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Just to add on

"In 2006, he passed legislation creating a new federal agency to oversee vaccine and drug development for terrorist attacks and flu pandemics. He has also sponsored a bill, nicknamed "Bioshield Two," that would give more authority to the agency."
-N&O Profile Page

He wrote the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which created the Biohazard Advanced Research and Development Authority, an office whose job was to develop vaccines to combat bioterrorism.

The true irony of his greatest legislative accomplishment was that it grew government.

Thank you. A fine submission

Love it.

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Blast from the past

If you want to learn more about BARDA, check out what I wrote last year.

Sad business

Only a couple of legitimate entries so far. Two weeks to go.

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I'll play! Well...kinda

Burr announced yesterday the creation of a Senate Military Families Caucus!

I know, I know. It's not real legislation that would actually IMPACT any lives, but I'm tryin'. Senators get to meet, eat, and talk about what they want to do, but just haven't done yet.

This announcement was made on August 18, 2010.

Burr has been in Congress since 1995.

It only took him 70-ish days before he faces reelection to co-start this caucus.

Can we start a Pander Bear caucus?

 

I've got one!!! - Military Spouses Residency Relief Act

S. 475. Burr was sponsor. Became law on Nov. 11, 2009
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:17:./temp/~bdgLfd::|/bss/|

Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.
To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to guarantee the equity of
spouses of military personnel with regard to matters of residency, and
for other purposes.
(Basically, the bill guarantees spouses traveling with military personnel abroad don't lose their rights to vote, or rights to any other programs/services simply because they are out of the country or out of state with their military spouse. Definitely seems like a great piece of legislation to me.)

Major Congressional Actions:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:17:./temp/~bdgLfd:@@@R|/bss/|

FULL TEXT:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_publi...
[DOCID: f:publ097.111]

[[Page 123 STAT. 3007]]

Public Law 111-97
111th Congress

An Act

To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to guarantee the equity of
spouses of military personnel with regard to matters of residency, and
for other purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, < Spouses Residency Relief Act. 50 USC app. 501 note.>>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Military Spouses Residency Relief
Act''.
SEC. 2. GUARANTEE OF RESIDENCY FOR SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL
FOR VOTING PURPOSES.

(a) In General.--Section 705 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
(50 U.S.C. App. 595) is amended--
(1) by striking ``For'' and inserting the following:

``(a) In General.--For'';
(2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

``(b) Spouses.--For the purposes of voting for any Federal office
(as defined in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
(2 U.S.C. 431)) or a State or local office, a person who is absent from
a State because the person is accompanying the person's spouse who is
absent from that same State in compliance with military or naval orders
shall not, solely by reason of that absence--
``(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that
State, without regard to whether or not the person intends to
return to that State;
``(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in
any other State; or
``(3) be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident
of any other State.''; and
(3) in the section heading, by inserting ``and spouses of
military personnel'' before the period at the end.

(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of
such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 501) is amended by striking the item relating
to section 705 and inserting the following new item:

``Sec. 705. Guarantee of residency for military personnel and spouses of
military personnel.''.

(c) <> Application.--Subsection (b) of
section 705 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 595), as added by subsection (a)
of this section, shall apply with respect to absences from States
described in such subsection (b) on or after the date of the enactment
of this Act, regardless of the date of the military or naval order
concerned.

[[Page 123 STAT. 3008]]

SEC. 3. DETERMINATION FOR TAX PURPOSES OF RESIDENCE OF SPOUSES OF
MILITARY PERSONNEL.

(a) In General.--Section 511 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
(50 U.S.C. App. 571) is amended--
(1) in subsection (a)--
(A) by striking ``A servicemember'' and inserting
the following:
``(1) In general.--A servicemember''; and
(B) by adding at the end the following:
``(2) Spouses.--A spouse of a servicemember shall neither
lose nor acquire a residence or domicile for purposes of
taxation with respect to the person, personal property, or
income of the spouse by reason of being absent or present in any
tax jurisdiction of the United States solely to be with the
servicemember in compliance with the servicemember's military
orders if the residence or domicile, as the case may be, is the
same for the servicemember and the spouse.'';
(2) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) as
subsections (d), (e), (f), and (g), respectively;
(3) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new
subsection:

``(c) Income of a Military Spouse.--Income for services performed by
the spouse of a servicemember shall not be deemed to be income for
services performed or from sources within a tax jurisdiction of the
United States if the spouse is not a resident or domiciliary of the
jurisdiction in which the income is earned because the spouse is in the
jurisdiction solely to be with the servicemember serving in compliance
with military orders.''; and
(4) in subsection (d), as redesignated by paragraph (2)--
(A) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``or the spouse
of a servicemember'' after ``The personal property of a
servicemember''; and
(B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``or the
spouse's'' after ``servicemember's''.

(b) <> Application.--Subsections
(a)(2) and (c) of section 511 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 571), as added
by subsection (a) of this section, and the amendments made to such
section 511 by subsection (a)(4) of this section, shall apply with
respect to any return of State or local income tax filed for any taxable
year beginning with the taxable year that includes the date of the
enactment of this Act.
SEC. 4. SUSPENSION OF LAND RIGHTS RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT FOR
SPOUSES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL.

(a) In General.--Section 508 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
(50 U.S.C. App. 568) is amended in subsection (b) by inserting ``or the
spouse of such servicemember'' after ``a servicemember in military
service''.
(b) <> Application.--The amendment
made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to servicemembers in
military service (as defined

[[Page 123 STAT. 3009]]

in section 101 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 511)) on or after the date of
the enactment of this Act.

Approved November 11, 2009.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 475:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 111-46 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 155 (2009):
Aug. 4, considered and passed Senate.
Nov. 2, considered and passed House.
DAILY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS (2009):
Nov. 11, Presidential statement.

Matt Comer
www.InterstateQ.com

Another -- although not law

S.498
Title: A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize dental insurance for veterans and survivors and dependents of veterans, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 2/26/2009) Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 2/26/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:19:./temp/~bdgLfd:@@@L&summ2=m&|/bss/|

SUMMARY AS OF:
2/26/2009--Introduced.
Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide a dental insurance plan for any veteran enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) annual patient enrollment system, as well as the survivors and dependents of certain veterans.

Provides for: (1) the payment of premiums for plan enrollment; and (2) voluntary plan disenrollment.

Matt Comer
www.InterstateQ.com