President Barack Obama

Politics
11:40 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton Supports Military Action Against Syria

Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton says he hopes U.S. lawmakers act responsibly and give President Obama authorization to launch military strikes against Syria.

The president's request to strike Syria has divided Democrats with many—such as Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky—saying they are unconvinced by the administration's argument thus far.

Considered a foreign policy expert, Hamilton is a Democrat who represented Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District for 35 years. He is scheduled to speak about the wide-ranging foreign policy challenges facing the U.S. at a speech Thursday evening at Bellarmine University set for 7 p.m.

In an interview with WFPL News, Hamilton says Congress has been too deferential to U.S. presidents on foreign affairs in the past, but he would back the president's efforts in Syria.

"I would vote for the resolution. You have three options: first of all, do nothing. I think that’s not acceptable. That would mean in effect that (Balshar) al-Assad can with impunity attack his own people with chemical weapons," he says.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers React to President Obama Seeking Military Action Against Syria

President Barack Obama is seeking congressional approval for air strikes against Syria
Credit White House

Most Kentucky federal lawmakers are praising President Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization before taking military action against Syria, which the administration says has used chemical weapons against civilians and rebel forces.

Obama says the administration has intelligence that the Syrian regime claimed the lives of 1,429 people with chemical attacks, and that a limited and tailored air strike is necessary.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama said he reached out to leaders in Congress including Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who had requested a conference call with the White House to brief senators on Saturday.

From McConnell's office:

"Today the President advised me that he will seek an authorization for the use of force from the Congress prior to initiating any combat operations against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. The President’s role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress."

Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who is often a supporter of the president's agenda, urged the Obama administration to outline its case for bombing Syria, and advised they seek approval from lawmakers.

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Politics
11:06 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Matt Bevin Calls on Republican Leaders Not to Retreat on Defunding Obamacare

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit mail.com

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is criticizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for not taking the lead on de-funding President Obama's health care law.

The pressure comes a day after Boehner told House Republicans he does not support threats to shut down the federal government over Obamacare.

In an earlier letter signed by 80 GOP House members, including Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., conservative lawmakers urged House leadership to reject any spending bill that funds the new health care law.

Bevin has been appealing to Kentucky conservatives in his bid against McConnell in next year's primary election that this is another example of McConnell not doing enough to stand up against the president.

"As the leader of the Republican Party, Sen. McConnell should be leading the charge to de-fund Obamacare not retreating with his tail between his legs," says Bevin. "Kentucky voters have a right to know: Will Mitch McConnell join Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in fighting for taxpayers or will he join Speaker Boehner in caving to President Obama?"

But just this week, Paul stood with McConnell in Kentucky to say shutting down the federal government over Obamacare was a "dumb idea."

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Politics
10:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Tea Party Ads Pressure Mitch McConnell, GOP Senators to Defund Obamacare

Credit foramerica.org

A pair of Tea Party groups are increasing their pressure on Sen. Mitch McConnell and his Republican caucus to de-fund President Obama's health care at all costs.

Recently, McConnell questioned that strategy and said a government shutdown would not halt the Affordable Care Act's implementation.

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports Tea Party Patriots and For America are targeting McConnell's caucus in a series of online advertisements in the hopes of gaining traction.

For America has already put out an ad essentially calling McConnell a "chicken" for not being more supportive.

Watch:

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Local News
10:52 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Barzun Sworn Takes Oath to Become U.S. Ambassador to Britain

U.S. State Department

Louisville businessman Matthew Barzun has assumed his role as Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Barzun was sworn in by Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department on Thursday.

Barzun was nominated for the post by President Obama last month, and the Senate was unanimous in his confirmation.

University of Louisville political science professor Charles Ziegler says this is an important diplomatic post.

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Politics
1:21 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Calls on President Obama to End Foreign Aid to Egypt Amid Growing Violence

Citing the expanding chaos in Egypt, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says President Obama isn't going far enough in the U.S. response to reports that hundreds have died amid violent protests.

The president rebuked the country's military leaders for its crackdown on demonstrators. In a brief press conference, Obama announced the U.S. is cancelling a joint military exercise with Egypt next month.

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Local News
6:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Louisville Cardinals Heading to White House

The national champion University of Louisville men’s basketball team will visit the White House this week.

The Cards will be honored by President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon in the Rose Garden for winning the 2013 NCAA championship.

Afterward, the team will tour the Capitol building and visit with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a U of L alumnus.

The Cards won this year’s championship in April, defeating Michigan in the title game.

It was U of L’s third men’s NCAA title, and the first in 27 years.

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Politics
8:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congressional Report Shows Obamacare Benefits to Kentucky Districts

Credit Shutterstock.com

The House voted on Wednesday to delay two key components of President Obama's health care law after the White House announced it was postponing an important mandate.

This represents the thirty-eighth time the Republican majority has moved to either repeal, de-fund or curtail the Affordable Care Act since taking control of the House in 2011.

In a bipartisan 264-161 vote, Congress codifies a decision made by the Obama administration earlier this month to give companies a one-year reprieve. But the GOP leadership took that a step further and held a vote to postpone the individual mandate, which passed by a 251-174 vote.

"From the very beginning it was clear that this one-size-fits-all law was the wrong approach to addressing our nation’s health care woes.  I still believe that repeal of this devastating law is needed, but until then we need to ensure that American families aren’t punished while the administration gives big businesses a break," says Congressman Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., adding the law is a "train wreck."

Obamcare certainly remains a political punching bag for Republican congressmen and senators in Kentucky, but Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, who represents Louisville and voted for the law, continues to speak up for its benefits since passage.

Yarmuth's office released data on Wednesday from the House Energy & Commerce Committee showing a district-by-district breakdown what the law is doing in Kentucky.

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Politics
6:43 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Louisville Businessman Matthew Barzun Selected as U.S. Ambassador to Britain

Matthew Barzun
Credit U.S. State Department

President Obama has nominated Louisville entrepreneur Matthew Barzun to be the next U.S. ambassador to Britain.

A major fundraiser for the president, Barzun served as finance chairman for the Obama re-election campaign last fall.

The selection had been rumored since January, when the New York Times noted Barzun, a tech executive, was in the running for the coveted foreign relations position along with Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour.

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Politics
12:22 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Kentucky, Indiana Lawmakers Pleased But Remain Critical of Obamacare Employer Mandate Delay

Credit Shutterstock.com

Federal lawmakers from Kentucky and Indiana are pleased with the Obama administration's decision to delay the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans argue this shows the overhaul should be repealed.

Under the law, U.S. businesses with over 50 employees must provide health insurance to their workers and was widely criticized by companies and GOP lawmakers. The mandate was scheduled to begin in 2014, but a post from the White House blog said after ongoing discussions with businesses, it will be implemented on January 1, 2015 instead.

Senators Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,, who has been a constant critic of the law, and Dan Coats, R-In., both issued statements jeering the White House's announcement as a sign the president's health care law is too costly.

Political observers quickly pointed to the decision being pushed back until after next year's mid-term elections, where it was expected to be a theme to help turnout GOP voters.

Republican Andy Barr is a freshman congressman who represents central Kentucky and ran heavily against the health care law in 2012. He says the announcement is an important temporary relief, but an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act— also known as Obamacare—is a "train wreck" overall.

"This a good decision for American employers and employees who are facing very costly mandates. And so while this is an important step forward we need to continue to fight to fully repeal Obamacare so that it doesn't continue to have the threat of  killing jobs," he says.

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