To the Beltway

Common Ground: Immigration Reform

02/19/2018 05:57 PM

Immigration—it’s a topic that’s been discussed vehemently over the past year. It’s also something that both sides of the aisle agree needs to be reformed. In hopes of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate set aside the week of February 12 to hold an open debate on immigration reform, which was meant to forge a bipartisan agreement. Both Democrats and Republicans agree something needs to be done with the 1.8 million “Dreamers” —the children who were brought to the country illegally... Read more 

Quarles meets with Trump, others at White House to discuss infrastructure proposal

02/14/2018 08:10 AM

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles met with President Trump and others, including Ivanka Trump at the White House on Monday as the administration unveiled a sweeping proposal to rework infrastructure in the United States. Quarles, who was the lone state agriculture commissioner at the unveiling of the plan on Monday, lauded the $200 billion plan which would set aside $50 billion in block grants for projects in rural America. Trump intends on generating up to $1.5 trillion in total with... Read more 

U.S. Senate leaders share the stage in Louisville

02/12/2018 01:52 PM

LOUISVILLE — In a show of bipartisan spirit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, shared a stage in Louisville on Monday morning, days after finding consensus on a two-year budget deal. Schumer appeared at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center Distinguished Speaker Series. This is the second time both Senate leaders have been on the same stage. The last time was in 2007 when former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, joined McConnell as... Read more 

Berea College benefits from Bipartisan Budget Act

02/09/2018 09:27 AM

WASHINGTON- Berea College has been spared from a large tax bill under the Bipartisan Budget Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and U.S. Representative Andy Barr, R-Lexington, secured a provision in the new law to exempt Berea College from an excise tax imposed on large private college endowments. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a provision was included that would have cost Berea College, which provides free tuition to low-income students, about $1 million per year. A provision in... Read more 

Common Ground: The Cost of Prescription Drugs

02/05/2018 05:59 PM

In a time where political polarization is at an all time high—we are trying to find where politicians agree on important issues. This week in Common Ground we take a look at the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug prices in America are some of the highest in the world. It’s not uncommon to read about life saving drugs costing thousands of dollars for patients. For instance, AARP reports the new cancer drug, Bavencio, costs about $156,000 a year per... Read more 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address violent crime, opioid addiction during Louisville visit

01/29/2018 11:47 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make an appearance in Louisville on Tuesday. Sessions is expected to address efforts underway to reduce violent crime and fight the opioid crisis during the press briefing at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Louisville. Read more 

DOJ demands documents from 'Sanctuary Cities'; Mayor Fischer responds

01/24/2018 03:18 PM

WASHINGTON- The Department of Justice sent out letters to 23 jurisdictions with welcoming city ordinances demanding documents that prove they are not unlawfully restricting information sharing by its law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities. Louisville Metro, who adopted a welcoming city ordinance in October, was included in the list. The letter also stated that recipients that fail to respond, fail to respond completely or fail to respond in a timely manner will be subject to a subpoena by the... Read more 

McConnell and Schumer strike deal to pass short-term budget, reopen government

01/22/2018 04:12 PM

With a wide majority the Senate voted on Monday to pass a short-term resolution to end a three day government shutdown. Democrats joined most Republicans in voting for a spending plan which would fund the government through February 8; in exchange Congress will examine the fate of dreamers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The legislation includes the Child Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, which provides health insurance for 93,000 Kentucky kids and 9 million children across... Read more 

Government shutdown as Senate fails to reach budget agreement

01/20/2018 07:54 AM

Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach an agreement Friday before the midnight deadline to pass a spending bill forcing a government shutdown. Thousands of federal employees will be placed on furlough Monday as agencies and departments considered nonessential shutdown. On Friday, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, sought to position a shutdown as Democrats fault. McConnell attempted to frame the choice as one between extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids for six-years, or Democrats push for... Read more 

CMS allows states to enact work requirements for Medicaid

01/11/2018 02:21 PM

A major shift from the Trump administration will likely clear the way for a controversial requirement in Medicaid delivery. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance to states on Thursday allowing them to compel people to work or prepare to join the workforce in order to receive Medicaid. Kentucky’s 1115 waiver, known as Kentucky HEALTH, contains such a work requirement — and the administration is expected to soon approve the waiver, according to testimony from the Cabinet for... Read more 

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