Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul: Republican Revolutionary?

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

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

In April, Time magazine bestowed the dubious distinction of Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator from Bowling Green as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Former GOP Veep candidate and Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, penned a glowing caption beside a black and white image of relative newcomer Rand Paul with arms folded, sans suit jacket and posing with a pensive gaze that suggests that he knows something we don’t.

Palin said of Paul in Time that he is a “…voice of reason awakening the public to what must be done to restore our prosperity and preserve the blessings of liberty for future generations.”

Paul’s meteoric rise to political stardom began with the 2010 mid-term elections, and his star shows no signs of dimming.

In fact, the Republican eye doctor and Tea Party favorite is relishing the chatter swirling around his presidential intentions and believes the speculation gives him a megaphone to influence the Beltway dialogue about issues foreign and domestic. In Bill Goodman’s engaging 30-minute interview with Senator Paul that airs tonight at 6:30 ET on KET, Paul answers questions about his presidential aspirations.

While Paul’s sights on the presidential post are still blurry, his vision on term limits remains sharp. He explains when he should vacate the US Senate seat, return home to practice medicine, and allow a newer voice to occupy the post.

Also in Bill’s interview, Paul admits to being frustrated by policy-making that he says is “obstructed by petty partisanship.” Puzzled by the scavenger hunt for grand bargaining, Paul says smaller items of bi-partisan agreement get overlooked: “There are many things both sides agree to. We just can’t seem to pass them because we have to vote on the whole package which is a thousand moving pieces…and I’m big on ‘why don’t we break it up into smaller bills?’”

Senator Paul also repeats a political mantra he believes should inform Republicans’ modus operandi in reaching the changing complexion of voters: “evolve, adapt or die,” says Paul of GOP minority outreach. Paul contends Republicans have done a poor job with connecting their message with the concerns and identities of the working class and minority groups.

“Those who are the most disadvantaged in our society – they’re the ones that get the worst effects from rising prices, and rising prices come from debt,” says Paul.

Learn more about Senator Rand Paul and his positions on an array of issues confronting Congress tonight at 6:30 ET in a special One to One with host Bill Goodman.

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.

2013 Session Begins With Hope and Promise

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Update: Video from Monday night’s Ky. Tonight program with Gov. Behsear, House Speaker Stumbo, and Sen. President Stivers was added Wednesday afternoon. See below.

Tuesday was the official first day of the 2013 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate gaveled in at noon and had adjourned by early afternoon.

They were expected to do that. The session won’t really get underway until the first of February; this month some new members of the legislature will attend ethics training, committee meetings will be conducted and additional bills will be filed.

In the Senate there were several new faces in leadership positions; Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, was elected president of the Senate. Damon Thayer, a Georgetown Republican, will serve as the majority floor leader.
Monday night President Stivers joined Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear on “Kentucky Tonight.”

This was the first time all three had been together on statewide television for a discussion of the issues facing lawmakers during the 2013 session. This week at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Chamber Day event in Lexington they will be on the stage to speak to a sold-out dinner crowd of more than 1,500.
KET will have that event on the air next Monday night at 9/8 CT following “Kentucky Tonight.”

On Monday’s “Kentucky Tonight” program, I asked Gov. Beshear to tell us the number one bill and issue on his mind this year and asked Stumbo and Stivers to comment on the governor’s choice.

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