To the Beltway

McConnell taking fight with EPA to states across the nation

03/20/2015 11:47 AM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is urging governors across the states to defy the Environmental Protection Agency in their request for carbon reduction plans. In a letter sent to all 50 Governors McConnell called on the group to reject the EPA’s proposed regulation aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030, based on 2005 emissions numbers. The rule is expected to be finalized this summer, and the plan calls on giving flexibility to states to meet the... Read more 

McConnell and Obama agree on one thing: UK will be the national champs

03/19/2015 09:03 AM

It seems that bluegrass basketball is one of the few things Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama agree on. McConnell, the six term Kentucky U.S. Senator, sent his picks to Pure Politics ahead of the NCAA tournament pitting the University of Kentucky against his alma mater the University of Louisville in the final game. McConnell chose the unbeaten Wildcats to win it all this year, as did Obama in his bracket. McConnell has Kentucky beating Arizona... Read more 

U.S. attorney general vote delayed as Senate fights over human trafficking bill

03/17/2015 01:24 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It has been six months since current Attorney General Eric Holder announced he would resign his post as the head of the Justice Department, but a contentious Congress is still keeping a nominee from assuming the role. Holder’s proposed successor, Loretta Lynch, faces yet another hurdle this week at a confirmation as U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans square off over abortion politics. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked an anti-human trafficking bill from debate over an amendment which... Read more 

McConnell defends letter to Iran, downplays criticism on CNN's "State of the Union"

03/15/2015 02:39 PM

Calling the fervor surrounding a letter from 47 Senate Republicans to the Iranian government “selective outrage” and “a bit of a manufactured controversy,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended the communiqué as an assertion of Congress’ role in hammering out a nuclear deal with Iran during CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. McConnell and his GOP colleagues, including potential presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have faced pointed criticism after sending the letter to Iranian leaders Monday. In... Read more 

Sunday Chatter: GOP moves forward on Ky. presidential caucus

03/08/2015 04:30 PM

Members of the Republican Party of Kentucky’s Executive Committee gave their approval to move forward with a potential presidential caucus at a special meeting held in Bowling Green on Saturday. The move reported by The Lexington Hearld-Leader among others, comes at the request of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky who is exploring a bid for the White House and re-election to the Senate seat. The move sets off the formation of a special rules committee which will begin answering questions... Read more 

Yarmuth rails against 'condescending' speech from Israeli PM Netanyahu

03/03/2015 02:47 PM

Calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to a joint session of Congress an “impressive bit of political theater,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said he felt validated for not attending the speech Tuesday. In mid-February Yarmuth issued a statement saying he would not be attending the address from Netanyahu, at the time calling the speech a “sad and ridiculous” litmus test for support of Israel. Yarmuth’s statements to the media Tuesday came following the address by Netanyahu and was carried... Read more 

Congressman Barr agrees with need to fight ISIS; says AUMF does not go far enough

02/23/2015 05:46 PM

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr agrees President Barack Obama is on the right course in pursuing military force against Islamic terrorists known as ISIS, but he said Obama is missing the mark when it comes to the campaign the commander-in-chief would wage. Speaking to Pure Politics by telephone last week, Barr, R-Lexington, said the “limited force with artificial timetables” is not a strategy which would produce victory against Islamic extremists. Obama’s Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, request to... Read more 

Inching closer to presidential run, Paul continues to push for criminal justice reforms

02/20/2015 04:27 PM

LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul hopes the new GOP-led Congress will consider a bill he has filed that would lower societal barriers for nonviolent offenders, the Bowling Green Republican said Friday during a forum at Sullivan University. Kentucky’s junior senator, who is openly considering a presidential campaign next year while frequenting early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa in recent months, continues to stake his claim as an advocate for criminal justice reforms, estimating that half the Senate’s Republican... Read more 

Obama seeks war powers against ISIS; historian and author offers dire predictions of terrorism at home

02/11/2015 11:42 AM

President Barack Obama is seeking a formal authorization of war to fight Islamic terrorists in a limited three year engagement that prohibits the use of “enduring offensive ground forces.” The request was delivered to Congressional leaders Wednesday morning, and Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said there are already plans to talk with his caucus on the proposal. “It was clear from the outset that a successful military campaign to defeat ISIL would require a multi-year effort,”... Read more 

State of the Union address largely panned by Kentucky's congressional delegation

01/21/2015 05:29 PM

Newly empowered Republicans, particularly Kentucky’s pair of GOP senators, lambasted President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, saying the president said little to convince them of his readiness to find common ground with the Republican-led Congress. Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address highlighted progress made during his administration, particularly an economy that’s showing continued signs of improvement after a recession that’s lingered in the public conscience since late 2007. Although the president touched on potential areas of agreement... Read more 

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