Posts Tagged ‘Mitch McConnell’

Interviews with Our Congress Members Begin Tonight

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman: KET just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., for a series of One to One interviews that begin airing tonight at 6:30 ET. My colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s interview with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.

First Up on One to One: Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

Last week, about a dozen KET production crew braved the pace of the Beltway to learn more about the work of our federal delegation in Washington. In a series of special One to One programs with Bill Goodman that begin tonight at 6:30 pm ET on KET, Bill talks with our six congressmen and two senators about the pressing national issues of immigration, gun control, deficit reduction, industrial hemp, and even the freedom to fish.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate, talks with Bill tonight about his unwavering position to hold the line on the debt limit unless attached to legislation to reduce the federal deficit. McConnell says the move is not unprecedented as it dates back to the 1950’s as presidential requests to increase the debt ceiling have accompanied significant legislation.

He cites the Congressional Review Act, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the 1997 Bill Clinton and Republican Congress Deficit Reduction Proposal and the August 2011 Budget Control Act. McConnell proclaims it irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without addressing the debt. Of the debt, he says, “the size of our debt looks a lot like a western European country. This is the biggest issue confronting the country.” McConnell adds, “It would be wonderful if the President would lead on this rather than us having to drag him to the table.”

The Republican leader also talks about his effort to pass the “Coal Jobs Protection Act” in response to what he deems hostile regulations by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) targeting the coal industry under President Obama. He says the measure addresses two types of permits that have to be granted in order to mine coal and would force the EPA to issue more timely decisions even if they result in rejection.

When asked whether the legislation would be a boon for coal production that’s now at the lowest level since the mid-1960’s, McConnell says, “it might not, they (EPA) might decide to say ‘no,’ but at least it eliminates the uncertainty.”

That lament by McConnell gave way to this wider criticism of the Obama administration. He adds, “in fact, the administration across the board, whether it’s health care, financial services… have gotten an army of regulators whose bias is ‘if you’re making a profit, you’re up to no good.’” He denounces enhanced regulation as “a huge wet blanket over the economy and it makes it very difficult for us to come out of this very deep recession.”

McConnell decries the federal health care reform law (Obamacare) that’s ramping up for implementation as “a calamity that can’t possibly work.” He and Bill discuss immigration, the “Freedom to Fish Act,” and the balancing of his duties as minority leader with the rigors of defending his seat in the 2014 election.

Here’s what Senator McConnell has to say about the 2014 contest:

Watch the entire interview with Mitch McConnell tonight at 6:30 ET on KET. Tomorrow night is Bill’s interview with junior U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

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.

Kentucky’s Senators Sing Same Tune

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Both of Kentucky’s U.S. senators are keeping the pressure on President Obama regarding the fiscal cliff: Senior Senator Mitch McConnell said today on the Senate floor:

“For more than a year, President Obama and Democrats in Congress have known as well as I do that every single taxpayer is scheduled to get slammed with an automatic tax hike on January 1. And for an entire year they’ve been running out the clock. Think about it: for President Obama, there is no better outcome than for taxes to go up on everybody — everybody. Why? Because the only way to pay for the big government this president wants is by raising taxes on everybody — the super-rich, the rich, middle class, lower class, you name it.”

Of course, Senate Democrats disagree.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue between the president and Speaker Boehner, but the press and the public know very little about what’s being said.

Senator Rand Paul was in Kentucky last week for an appearance before a sold-out Commerce Lexington lunch. Paul came armed with a couple of boxes of his second book, “Government Bullies” and serious criticism of the president and Democrats for not addressing entitlement spending — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and backing away from including them in the fiscal cliff conversations.

Thanks to Mark Turner and Commerce Lexington for this portion of Paul’s remarks.

Please have a safe and happy holiday.

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