Barr defends spending on mail to constituents saying it comes with cuts of other spending in office

08/25/2014 09:29 AM

Spending more taxpayer dollars on mailing in his first term in office than most other members of Congress, Kentucky U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, says he will not apologize for communicating with his constituents and defends his office’s fiscal record of cutting other wasteful spending.

Barr’s use of franked communications, where members of Congress use their signature as postage on mail, has totaled a $190,000 in taxpayer money to send mail and conduct other constituent services during his first term in office.

As the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, Barr has outspent most members of Congress when it comes to the Congressional privilege, causing him to rank 26th out of the 437 members of the U.S. House when it comes to most frequent users of the practice.

But in an interview with Pure Politics, Barr said that spending has come as a direct result of his constituents asking for a more engaged representative and spending cuts by his office in other areas.

“I will never apologize for being more accessible and more communicative. I will also defend our record of fiscal responsibility, we have been a champion of cutting wasteful government spending,” Barr said. “We don’t spend more than other members of Congress, we actually spend less but we communicate more.”

As the Herald-Leader reported, Barr’s Democratic opponent—Elisabeth Jensen—has pledge to not use franking or other perks if she is elected.

Another issue that is likely to come up in the election between Barr and Jensen is women’s issues.

But recently, Barr went to a domestic violence shelter in his district to speak with women about the needs of the shelter and discuss his support for the Violence Against Women Act.

When the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act was before Congress, Barr was one of only two members of the Kentucky federal delegation to vote in favor of the law.

Barr said while he was concerned with some of the spending in the bill, his vote was based on the needs of the people he represents.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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