Congressman John Yarmuth

Politics
2:41 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Breaks from GOP, Votes Against Ryan Budget Plan

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Fourth District Congressman Thomas Massie bucked his Republican Party leaders and voted against the GOP-basked 2014 budget because it isn't conservative enough.

The GOP-controlled House narrowly approved the spending plan authored by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin by a 221-207 vote on Thursday.

Conservative supporters had highlighted the cuts to corporate tax rates and slashing $6.4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade as reasons to support the idea.

However, Ryan's plan still raises federal spending by 3.4 percent annually. GOP leaders had said that would be offset by economic growth.

But for the Tea Party-backed Massie that amount was too much. He told WFPL in a telephone interview he came to Washington reduce spending—not increase it—adding Ryan's proposal is nearly twice the rate of inflation.

"The Democrat plan increases government spending by 5 percent per year, that’s ridiculous. That’s like three times the rate of inflation," he says. "The Ryan budget is better because it only increases government by 3.4 percent per year, but that’s still twice the rate of inflation. And when I campaigned, I campaigned saying that we needed to cut spending in Washington, D.C."

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Politics
9:55 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth: Ryan Budget Plan is the Enemy of Growth

Speaking at the House Budget Committee this week, Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth said government should be a partner with business and the Republican-crafted 2014 budget will hurt economic growth.

Among the highlights GOP lawmakers have touted are $6.4 trillion in deficit cuts and reducing the corporate tax by 10 percent.

But Yarmuth told his congressional colleagues on Wednesday the GOP proposal is an "enemy" to growth, adding cuts to education, infrastructure and child-care programs are not what business leaders in Louisville are asking for.

"They want Washington's help, not its avoidance," he says. "I think the Ryan-Republican budget is a dismal failure. All of the things that are businesses are crying out for the Ryan budget would emphasize or in fact dramatically reduce."

Watch:

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Politics
2:38 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth: Democrats Trying to ‘Sabotage’ Ashley Judd Are Making a Mistake

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth is defending actress Ashley Judd against fellow Democrats who he says will regret trying to "sabotage" the Hollywood star's candidacy against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

For weeks, state Democratic consultants and donors have voiced caution, arguing Judd is too liberal to win in Kentucky and could cost the party seats in the General Assembly. And national Democratic groups are reportedly having second thoughts about Judd running in 2014 as well.

Yarmuth says those naysayers have often been wrong and haven’t presented a viable candidate of their own to take on the GOP leader, adding many should accept Judd is running.

"I absolutely think that some of the Democrats who are trying to sabotage an Ashley Judd campaign are making a very big mistake. There is no alternative to Ashley Judd right now. She is widely popular in Kentucky. She has generated an unprecedented excitement in the media both locally and across the country," he says. "And I think a lot of these people are going to be very embarrassed and have to eat a lot of crow when they have to support her—and they will aggressively support her—in the general election."

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Politics
7:06 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie Offer Differing Viewpoints on New Ryan Budget Plan

Congress John Yarmuth, D-Ky., calls the new Ryan budget plan 'cruel.'
Credit U.S. Congress

Led by former Republican vice presidential nominee and Congressman Paul Ryan, the House GOP unveiled its 2014 budget proposal this week

Dubbed 'Path to Prosperity' the spending plan cuts $6.4 trillion from the deficit over the next ten years, slashes corporate taxes by 10 percent and simplifies the tax code by turning seven individual tax brackets into two.

Conservatives also highlight provisions such as authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an overhaul of Medicare for retirees and another attempt to fully repeal President Obama's health care law.

But liberal critics are slamming the budget for various reasons, including the fact that it cuts domestic services but not defense.

From The Washington Post:

He cuts deep into spending on health care for the poor and some combination of education, infrastructure, research, public-safety, and low-income programs. The Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts, but the military is spared, as is Social Security.

There’s a vague individual tax reform plan that leaves only two tax brackets — 10 percent and 25 percent — and will require either huge, deficit-busting tax cuts or increasing taxes on poor and middle-class households, as well as a vague corporate tax reform plan that lowers the rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

(SNIP)

Ryan’s budget is intended to do nothing less than fundamentally transform the relationship between Americans and their government.

Democratic Congressman Yarmuth is more blunt. He says the proposal is cruel and only plays to extreme elements in the GOP.

"It’s one that was repudiated by Mitt Romney last year during the presidential campaign and is one that’s become a liability for Republicans who embraced it. So I’m really hard pressed to understand why Congressman Ryan would double down on what was obviously something that was rejected decisively during the 2012 election," he says.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for Senator Mitch McConnell to End Brinksmanship on Sequestration

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is calling on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to end the brinksmanship, and work with President Obama and Democrats to end the automatic spending cuts.

In Kentucky, the so-called sequestration is expected to have the biggest impact on nutrition and education programs as well as enforcing environmental regulations.

For example, a White House study estimates the cuts will take about 1,100 children off of Head Start in Kentucky. The state is also set to lose $2.1 million for water and air quality protections.

Beyond those cuts, opponents argue the sequester could drag down the economic recovery and hurt job growth.

Yarmuth criticized McConnell for calling the proposed cuts "modest" and says the GOP leader needs to take responsibility  or his role in the failed negotiations.

"I don’t think that the people of Kentucky or the country appreciate what the sequester is going to do for them. I would hope Sen. McConnell would reconsider and provide some leadership here instead of playing politics once again," Yarmuth said during a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee.

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Politics
2:42 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Yarmuth Praises Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says the passage of the Violence Against Women Act is a major victory for millions of American women.

The House reauthorized the measure with a bipartisan coalition of 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans. After months of delay and public pressure, GOP leaders surprised observers by allowing a vote on the House floor Thursday.

"I was very surprised and very pleased. I think the Republican leadership realized that this was potentially a devastating issue for them if they did not at least allow a vote," says Yarmuth

VAWA’s reauthorization means Louisville groups such as Catholic Charities and the Center for Women and Families will continue to receive federal support.

Those organizations receive about $700,000 in funding from the act, and rely on it to pay for staff positions and legal aide. About $4 million is spent on 45 similar agencies across Kentucky.

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Politics
10:28 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Noise and Notes: Congressman John Yarmuth

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Congressman John Yarmuth is the lone Democrat in Kentucky’s federal delegation.

That makes Yarmuth the only liberal voice arguably in the region, and the lawmaker that the Obama administration confers with over potential federal appointments in the state.

Now in his fifth term in Congress, Yarmuth is the co-sponsor of a number of progressive bills, including campaign finance reforms and gun control measures.

But since 2010, he has been in the minority railing against the Republican-controlled House.

In terms of politics, Yarmuth has been the chief cheerleader for Ashley Judd, who is the rumored top-contender to run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Yarmuth Calls for House Vote on Violence Against Women Act

Credit Phillip M. Bailey/WFPL

Joined by victims' advocates and domestic abuse survivors, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is calling on House Republican leaders to bring the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act up for a vote.

The bill ensures $659 million in federal funding over five years, and pays for services and legal aide for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It recently passed the Senate with a bipartisan 78-22 vote, but has lingered in the GOP-controlled House.

Yarmuth says it has been more than 500 days since lawmakers allowed the act to expire, and federal money for organizations such as the Louisville-based Center for Women & Families remain uncertain.

"In that time nearly 290,000 Americans, more than 90 percent of them women have been raped or sexually assaulted. That is appalling, and it is unconscionable that Congress has not reauthorized one of the most successful programs in combating this violence," he says.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Hemp Bill Sails Through Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee

James Comer
Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — After testimony from a bevy of high-level supporters, the state Senate agriculture committee unanimously approved Monday a bill that would establish oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally.

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Environment
12:19 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Yarmuth Reintroduces Bill to Study Health Effects of Mountaintop Removal Mining

Gabe Bullard WFPL

Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville has reintroduced a bill that would put a moratorium on mountaintop removal coal mining until the practice’s health effects can be better understood.

The Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act—or ACHE—was first introduced last summer, but died when it was referred to committee. Now, Yarmuth and New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter are reintroducing the legislation.

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