Posts Tagged ‘U.S. House of Representatives’

Pathway to Citizenship or Amnesty?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

During our discussion about immigration on Kentucky Tonight yesterday, I asked the panel if they thought the U.S. House of Representatives would vote on the reform bill currently before them. The Senate passed the legislation on June 27 by a vote of 68-32. One of our guests, Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl, said the measure might have a tough time in the Republican-controlled House because of doubts some representatives have about Obamacare.

The popular Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill had a piece this morning that sounded a similar theme. The Hill’s Pete Kasperowicz blogged that some House Republicans don’t believe President Obama will fulfill the border enforcement provisions of the immigration bill. Since the administration recently decided to delay a key part of the Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, Republicans say Obama could also select which parts of the immigration bill to enforce.

The Hill reported portions of a speech by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) on the House floor last night:

“One of the biggest fears we have about the Senate amnesty bill… is we can’t trust the president… Whatever we pass into law, we know he’s going to cherry-pick. How do we know that? The Defense of Marriage Act; he refused to defend that to the courts. Appointees to the NLRB; he did that when, of course, the Senate was not actually in session. ObamaCare; he’s picking and choosing the parts of the law that he wants to implement.”

Notice Fleming’s use of the term “amnesty” to describe what many proponents of the Senate-passed immigration measure prefer to call a “pathway to citizenship” or “legalization” for this country’s 11 million undocumented workers.

That idea was central to our discussion on Kentucky Tonight. Luis Pozzolo, an American citizen who emigrated from Uruguay 10 years ago, and who leads a group called America for Lawful Immigration Solutions Today, began the conversation by telling us the distinction he sees between the two concepts:

You can watch the full program here.

By the way, if you’re in Lexington tonight, stop by Joseph-Beth Booksellers for a conversation about the new book, “The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis.” I’m hosting a discussion with the book’s editor, former Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, and one of the book’s contributors, former Kentucky Secretary of State John Y. Brown III. The event starts at 7 p.m. and I hope to see you there.

Rep. Andy Barr Rails Against Gov’t Regs, Spending, and ‘War on Coal’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Note from Bill Goodman:  In this final installment of our special One to One series with Kentucky’s federal delegation, my colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s One to One interview with Rep. Andy Barr which airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.

A proponent for spending restraints and national debt reduction, Kentucky’s 6th District Rep. Andy Barr pledged support in January for a “No Budget No Pay” proposal that would require the House and Senate members to pass a budget as a condition of receiving their salaries.

During a spring hearing of the Financial Services Committee, he relayed complaints from community banks that Washington regulations are too burdensome, complex, and counterproductive.

Also in mid-April, the Lexington Republican reserved an hour of time on the floor of the U.S. House to lead what is known as a Special Order on the “Importance of America’s Coal Industry.” He and 10 others of the same and different political stripes bragged on coal’s ability to produce affordable energy and create jobs. Barr co-sponsors the “Coal Jobs Protection Act” introduced earlier this month. He says at least 36 mining permits in Kentucky are being held up by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The measure would ensure timely action on permit applications, and a companion version is being championed in the Senate by Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

And, just last week, Barr introduced the “Live by the Laws You Write Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to a press release from May 16th, the two-page legislation aims to close Obamacare’s congressional loophole and ensure that Congress and its staff are not exempt from the laws that it writes. Barr was quoted in the release as saying, “It is wrong for the people who wrote Obamacare to have exempted themselves, so today we are fixing that to ensure that there is no special treatment for the people who wrote this legislation.”

In the last installment of congressional interviews from Washington D.C. with host Bill Goodman, Barr discusses his perception that “Washington policies are creating economic uncertainty.”

The 39-year-old attorney talks with Goodman tonight at 6:30 ET about transitioning to Beltway politics. In 2004, Barr worked in the Republican gubernatorial administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher and at one time served as Fletcher’s deputy general counsel.

At the interview start, Barr tells Goodman why constituent accessibility is a top priority and discusses the ways he’s trying to engage citizens in the process of lawmaking.

Watch the full interview for more of Barr’s thoughts on coal, health care reform, and immigration tonight at 6:30 ET on KET.

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.


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