President Barack Obama

7:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Kentucky Senators Split on Islamic State Plan as Obama Praises Congress’ Approval

Credit U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate gave overwhelming approval Thursday to a measure aimed at training and arming Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State.

By a 78-22 margin, senators backed a plan to combat the terrorist group, a plan that was pushed by President Obama and tucked in a larger spending bill. The House approved the same measure a day earlier by a similarly comfortable margin.

Kentucky’s Republican senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, stood on opposite sides of the debate as lawmakers cast their last votes before the mid-term elections.

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2:37 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Kentucky, Indiana Lawmakers React to President Obama's Strategy Against Islamic State

Credit White House

President Obama's proposed strategy to “take out” Islamic State terrorists is being backed by a bipartisan group of Kentucky and Indiana lawmakers.

The president made the remarks Wednesday in a prime-time speech, signaling a broadening American role in combating ISIL.

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5:52 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Rand Paul Would Forgo Using Executive Orders as President

U.S. Senator Rand Paul on July 7, 2014, speaks with students at the Village Learning Center at Midwest Church of Christ in west Louisville.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said Tuesday that if he is elected to the White House, he would only use his executive authority to revoke previous presidential orders.

Kentucky’s junior senator, who is gearing up for a 2016 presidential run, made the comments at a luncheon for the Louisville chamber of commerce, where he addressed a range of topics, from local issues to world affairs.

Asked directly if he would issue executive orders as president, Paul said the only circumstance would be to overturn the ones made by his predecessors.

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3:16 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

President Obama Fundraising for Super PAC Linked to Kentucky Senate Race

Credit White House

President Barack Obama is raising money for a political action committee that has been running attack ads in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race against Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

From the Associated Press:

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1:45 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Matt Bevin Favors U.S. Seizing Russian Assets to Pay for Ukrainian Aid

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin of Kentucky

Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin suggests the U.S. government should seize Russian assets and remove the foreign super power from international organizations in response to the Ukraine crisis.

President Obama put financial sanctions on a dozen of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest aides and allies this week.

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9:26 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

UofL, UK Presidents Praise Mitch McConnell for Helping Land Obama Manufacturing Jobs Partnership

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

The presidents of Kentucky's two major universities are praising Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for his role in helping to secure funding for an Obama administration partnership meant to spur manufacturing jobs.

President Obama announced earlier today a $140 million commitment in Department of Defense funds would be going towards a program for two innovation institutes.

The University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have both been selected to participate in the public-private partnership.

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3:27 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

UofL Partners With National Digital Manufacturing Initiative

Credit File photo

The University of Louisville's Speed Engineering School will collaborate with other institutions, government agencies and businesses in an initiative to boost digital design and manufacturing processes nationwide.

The announcement comes today as President Obama awarded $70 million of Department of Defense funding to the program.

In addition to the $70 million from the federal government, nearly $250 million was raised by public and private entities to ensure the institute would be based in Chicago.

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4:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Rand Paul Says He Will Sue President Obama Over NSA Domestic Surveillance Program

RandPAC, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's political arm, has announced that the Republican lawmaker will join a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

In a statement, Paul says the NSA's monitoring of American citizens violates the Fourth Amendment. He will file the suit in Washington D.C. Wednesday, then hold a press conference.

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9:44 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Kentucky Coal Leader Doubts Alison Lundergan Grimes Could Be Stronger Advocate Than Mitch McConnell

Alison Lundergan Grimes (l) and Mitch McConnell (r)
Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

A top coal industry leader in Kentucky is questioning if Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes can break with President Obama on restraining environmental regulations.

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett also credits Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for being the industry's chief proponent in Washington, D.C. despite the Grimes campaign blaming the GOP leader for job losses.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to unveil stricter pollution limits this week to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the country.

Despite reports that regulations would not be as stringent on coal plants as originally expected, Grimes pounced on the Obama administration to hold off.

"Coal keeps the lights on in Kentucky—plain and simple—and I will not stand idle as overreaching regulation adversely impacts jobs and middle-class families. Any new regulations must take into account the impact on Kentucky jobs and be based on current technology that will not drive Kentucky coal out of business," Grimes said.

The message is part of an effort to blunt Republican attacks that Grimes would be beholden to the president's environmental agenda. But attempts to pick up support from Kentucky coal industry leaders has yet to materialize when many already view McConnell as their top advocate.

"One person's position on coal is defined and the other has yet to be," says Bissett. "I would say our industry has looked at Sen. McConnell as the chief adversary of President Obama since he took office. I think you've seen Sen. McConnell be very engaged in coal and standing in the way of a lot the president's policies as it relates to coal in Kentucky."

Bissett adds that Grimes hasn't said much about the subject until now and rarely was involved with the industry's concerns or needs in her capacity as secretary of state.

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12:02 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Congressman Hal Rogers Wants 'Precise' Details Before Favoring Syria Strike

Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers

Kentucky's longest serving member of Congress wants more details from President Obama before supporting the administration's resolution seeking military action against the Syrian government.

"The ongoing civil war in Syria is heartbreaking, but I have great reservations about intervening in Syria," says Congressman Hal Rogers, who was first elected in 1980.

Speaking at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, the president announced he will address the nation from the White House next week to make his case for intervention before the American public.

For the most part, Kentucky's federal delegates in the House and Senate are leaning against the mission. 

Congressman John Yarmuth, the lone Democrat, says he remains unconvinced by the Obama administration's argument.

Republican congressmen Andy Barr and Ed Whitfield have both voiced opposition while Brett Guthrie said via Facebook he would "listen carefully" as the administration makes its case.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been noticeably absent from the debate. But in a recent public appearance, McConnell said he would announce his position in "the coming days."

While Rogers, who chairs the powerful appropriations committee, told WFPL he has serious doubts about the mission, the GOP lawmaker also indicated he is open to being persuaded by Obama's argument.

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