Congressman Andy Barr files to run for fourth term

01/04/2018 01:48 PM

FRANKFORT – U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, R-Lexington, has filed for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives for the Sixth District of Kentucky.

Barr, who has served in Congress since 2013, previously was a member of former Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s executive staff.

In 2016, Barr won a third term by defeating Democrat Nancy Jo Kemper capturing 61.1 percent of all of the votes cast.

To date several big Democratic entrants have come forward to challenge the incumbent, including Lexington Mayor Jim gray, Former Marine Corps Fighter Pilot Amy McGrath and state Senator Reggie Thomas.

Barr is one who welcomes the competition, and doesn’t necessarily see it as a mark against him.

“The energy and enthusiasm on the left is reminiscent to the enthusiasm on the right in 2009 and 2010,” Barr said. “In 2009/2010, the conservatives were energized and motivated because of the election of Barack Obama. Today, on the left, there’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm because of the election of Donald Trump. I don’t think that reflects on my work in Congress. I think that’s totally independent, it more has to do with the left interest in the president and less about me.”

Barr said his priorities will be a continuation of items that he’s worked on during his previous years in office.

“We’re going to achieve some major goals that I’ve had over the last five years that we haven’t yet accomplished,” Barr said. “Number one is delivering bipartisan regulatory relief for our community banks and credit unions that really are the antidote to too big to fail Wall Street banks. These are the credit providers of the farmers, the main street businesses and the home owners of central and eastern Kentucky.”

Barr also is working to help Berea College, which, as a result of the newly passed federal tax reform bill, had a provision removed excluding the from a new 1.4 percent tax on private university endowments. Berea does not charge tuition and enrolls low-income students.

“A tuition-free work study college like Berea College should have never been inadvertently included in this excise tax,” Barr said. “I made that case to the chairman of the Ways and Means committee Kevin Brady and he agreed.”

One detail in the newly passed congressional tax bill is the fact that the tax cuts for individuals and small businesses will expire after eight years.

Barr said that he favored permanent tax cuts and will work to make that happen, but still felt it was important to pass the current bill so, Americans can begin their savings.

“We need to make these individual and small business tax cuts permanent and we sent a bill to the senate that did just that,” Barr said. “Now why did the bill not include permanency for individual and small business cuts? Because of Senate rules.”

Barr takes issue with Democrat critics who say that the tax bill will raise the national debt even higher.

“The idea that these same critics whose policies that they’ve supported over the last eight years literally doubled the national debt, to think that they are the ones now that are complaining about deficits, it’s just totally hypocritical,” Barr said.

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