Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

In the Nation’s Capitol

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

I was in Washington, D.C., last week on the day the Senate voted on the Manchin-Toomey gun legislation.

Senate hallways and offices were packed with visitors, lobbyists, and tour groups.

The media was present too; they ringed the Russell office rotunda—an area used by the networks for the reports you see on newscasts every day.

I was there to talk with office staff and aides who work for members of our Kentucky congressional delegation. KET is making plans to be in Washington for a live broadcast of Kentucky Tonight the first week in May followed by a series of One to One conversations with our Washington delegation. My intention was not to see any member of the group —although we did run into Reps. Yarmuth, Massie, and Barr.

But you couldn’t avoid the feeling that something a little out of the ordinary was taking place.
This was one day after the Boston Marathon explosions; there was a noticeable increase in police presence and canine patrols. Visitors in lines outside of the Cannon, Rayburn, Longworth, and Russell complexes were greeted with assault weapon-wielding policemen.

There was an eerie pall hanging over the Capitol.

This was also the day before the ricin-laced letter was delivered, but intercepted, by a congressional post office facility located far from Capitol Hill. At the same time, the third floor of the Russell Senate building went into lock-down because of a suspicious package delivered to a senator’s office—directly one floor above Sen. Rand Paul’s office.

For me and many other visitors, these elements — canine units on the Capitol grounds, a noticeable police presence, increased security — could not help but stand out. For senators and representatives, office workers, and Capitol personnel, it was just another day at the office.

Our One to One interviews will begin on May 13th. I’ll sit down with all eight members of our delegation to discuss national and Kentucky-related issues with them.

If you have a topic or issue you would like for me to discuss with any member, send me an email at

The Fiscal Cliff and the Kentucky Delegation

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Happy New Year!
You probably had a better New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day than the delegation representing Kentucky in the United States Congress. They celebrated the holiday negotiating, voting, and arguing over legislation to keep the nation from falling off the fiscal cliff.

And our two U.S. Senators were front and center before a national audience of cliff watchers and media the past few days.

Most analysts are giving Sen. Mitch McConnell kudos for asking Vice President Joe Biden, an old Senate colleague, to join the negotiations for the deal that keeps taxes from going up on most Americans. McConnell voted for the legislation.

Sen. Paul, who was on the Senate floor and national television before the Senate voted to pass the legislation, was one of only 8 Senators to vote against the bill.

On the House side, the measure passed 257 to 167. Among the Kentucky congressmen, Hal Rogers (R), Ben Chandler (D), and John Yarmuth (D), voted for the deal. Ed Whitfield (R), Brett Guthrie (R), and Thomas Massie (R), voted against the deal.

Guthrie, from Bowling Green, had this to say, “I have said it from the very beginning that ensuring we do not go over the fiscal cliff should be a combination of tax reforms that are vital to the health of our nation. For too long, House Republicans were told they would see a good-faith discussion on spending cuts. Yet again, we have been told no, that spending cuts will come next time.”

There was no “big deal.” It appears there will be more fireworks down the road when Congress and the president try to cap government spending and attack the deficit facing the nation.

The Debt Discussion and You

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

On Monday evening, on KET‘s Kentucky Tonight program, we had an invigorating, spirited, intelligent discussion regarding the debt-ceiling discussions going on in Washington. Our guests were all well-informed and prepared for a comprehensive conversation on the various issues and details of what can become a somewhat complicated argument on all sides.

This program got as much input from you as any we’ve done in quite awhile. We’re always attempting to get as many phone calls and emails during the program as possible. After the show and all day Tuesday, my email box was full of comments about the debt discussion. I’ve included some of them below:

Each time that I see the AARP ad espousing how Medicare will be eliminated or reduced significantly, I want to  scream. I find it appalling that AARP is using, in my opinion, scare tactics, implying that any change made to Medicare is going to affect those of us who are currently receiving Medicare or who are 56 years of age and older.  ALL of the politicians have made it abundantly clear that Medicare is unsustainable at the current expenditures, and without alterations, none of us will have Medicare coverage.
Lexington, KY

Absolutely outstanding program tonight.  The opinions of your panel very much mirror those in Washington….no one is willing to listen long enough to find common ground on things we do agree on.
Elizabethtown, KY

My husband and I were watching your program and I feel that I have to address the comments made by your panel.  The last time I checked on the Constitution it said “We, the people”, not we the Democrats, Republicans, Independents, tea part, etc.  I am so embittered by the complete lack of the people being included or even given a thought.  Democrats vs. Republicans, that’s all I can see.  Let the Congress and Senate give up their salaries, free insurance, tax paid housing, limosines and live like us ordinary people for awhile and see if the partisanship continues.
Williamsburg, KY

If we do not solve these problems now, what we will face is a currency crisis, the beginnings of which may already be underway judging from the price of gas and groceries. How will we manage this situation without destroying the currency?
Richmond, KY

I appreciate very much all of you taking the time and effort to write to us. We hope to include more of these comments after every show. And don’t forget, Kentucky Tonight is on every Monday night on KET at 8 pm CT. I’ll have details of next week’s show in the next few days.


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