Under the Dome

Burr defends military vote

Democratic senatorial hopeful Cal Cunningham slammed U.S. Sen. Richard Burr for the Republican incumbent's vote on the Department of Defense spending bill.

Burr was one of 10 members to oppose the bill, reports Barb Barrett. In an e-mail to supporters, Cunningham suggested that Burr doesn't care about military families.

"I can't believe it. This morning Senator Richard Burr voted against funding for our troops, both at home and abroad," Cunningham wrote in the e-mail Saturday. "Tell (Burr) that voting against our military families is unacceptable."

Cunningham quoted two military spouses whose husbands now are serving in Iraq.
The $626 billion defense appropriations bill funds the military budget for fiscal year 2010. President Barack Obama signed it into law Monday.

Among a host of other projects, it includes a pay raise for troops. It doesn't include money for the surge of troops in Afghanistan that Obama recently announced. Burr said he had a problem with that.

"It didn’t fund the surge to Afghanistan, and it had about $18 billion worth of un-defense-related earmarks in it that were not paid for,” Burr said in an interview.


Obama just made his announcement on troop levels this month, and former President George W. Bush also failed to include his troop surges in regular appropriations bills.
This bill is different, Burr said.

"Because I thought the president set a new mark," Burr said. "It was a commitment to the American people that anything we did war-related was going to be in the war appropriations bill."

The bill’s 1,700 earmarks, he said, included museums and other projects un-related to the Department of Defense.


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Re: Burr defends military vote

If I'm not mistaken, Congress passed a defense bill that provided less than even President Obama requested in his budget. It provided less than he requested for operations (including "Overseas Contingency Operations," or whatever the lefties are calling the war on terror these days), less than he requested for military personnel, less than he requested for maintenance, and less than he requested for procurement. Oh, and the bill doesn't fund the surge in Afghanistan.

In other words, Congress is paying the troops more to make up for the fact that Congress is making it more difficult for the troops to do their jobs... while at the same time giving guys like John Murtha a little walking around money for their congressional districts. Good plan!

Re: Burr defends military vote

Burr voted against funding to provide our troops with equipment and raises. Stop. Let that sink in. Think about it.

Burr explains his vote by saying:

1. The money is for troops in other countries besides Afghanistan.
2. The bill contained some earmarks.

What a hypocritical career politician! Are our troops in Iraq, Korea, and other parts of the world less deserving of Burr's support? Does he think that Afghanistan is the only military operation that needs to be funded? When exactly did Burr have this epiphany? Was it, just maybe, around the time that his mentor and role model George W. Bush left office?

As to the earmarks: again, when did Burr become opposed to earmarks? He has inserted plenty himself, and they never seemed to bother him when the Republicans were crafting the appropriations bills. Besides, focusing on the number of earmarks is misleading. What if there were a million earmarks at $10 each? The relevant number is the percentage of the funds that goes to the troops: 97.5%. Only 2.5% of the bill's funds go toward earmarks. Sure, that's 2.5% too much, but it certainly doesn't justify denying the troops the money that they need and deserve.

I know plenty of folks at Camp Lejuene and Fort Bragg who'd love to put some coal in Burr the Grinch's stocking. This guy does not deserve to represent North Carolina because he clearly doesn't care about middle class Americans.

Re: Burr defends military vote

Burr voted against a pay raise for the troops. That is simply unacceptable in 2010. Burr should retire.

Re: Burr defends military vote

Now that Obama is escalating the Afghan War the Dems will become the hawks. Rambo Cunningham is taking it to Burr for not defending our troops. The roles have been reversed and now the Dems are beating the war drums. They've stolen the whole war!

Re: Burr defends military vote

I think Cunningham is playing the only card he has from a political standpoint: He was in the JAG Corp. But, that doesn't make him an expert on military tactics or Congressional spending. Burr's vote is consistent with his positions on earmarks and it fits with his stance on the whole schedule of Congress right now.

This bill did not and will not impact the lives and safety of our troops.

Re: Burr defends military vote

hey Cal...look at all the unnecessary earmarks in the bill, so you wont look so stupid so fast...

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