Hal Rogers says Paul Ryan's budget 'cuts too much' but would vote for it; Addresses hemp issue

03/14/2013 07:48 PM

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, isn’t impressed with the budget plan introduced this week by his Republican colleague, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

Rogers represents Kentucky’s 5th District that’s among the poorest areas in the country. And while he said he has concerns with some of the structural changes Ryan’s budget plan makes to programs like Medicaid and Medicare and other cuts, he said he will support it. That conversation starts at 3:00 of the interview.

“I’ll be voting for it. It’s not exactly to my liking. There are a lot of things that I’m not happy with, including the overall big number,” he said. “It cuts too much spending, frankly, from the discretionary side of the budget. Most people don’t realize that we only appropriate 1/3 of federal spending … and we’ve cut that by $100 billion over the last two years.”

Rogers, last week, sponsored a measure aimed at giving the Pentagon flexibility in implementing cuts under the across-the-board cuts in the sequester. Rogers said he expects the House and Senate to reach some type of agreement to add budget flexibility for military and veterans programs.

“Those will be OK, I think. I am concerned about the impact on education and on children’s matters,” Rogers said (1:15 of the interview).

And Rogers’ name has been evoked in Frankfort during the debate over the bill to create a framework for regulating industrial hemp if the federal government makes it legal. Five of the six “no” votes in the state Senate came from legislators who live in Rogers’ Eastern Kentucky district. And Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who also opposes the measure, is from Rogers’ district too.

Watch that part of the discussion at 6:00:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • Jilli Brown wrote on March 15, 2013 12:19 PM :

    What a complete idiot. The budget is horrible, is damaging, but I’m going to vote for it anyway. I believe Mr. Rogers has forgotten that he was elected to represent the best interests of his state and the nation, not the republican party. He’s truly pathetic.

  • Charlie G wrote on March 15, 2013 01:34 PM :

    Hal Rogers…a Tower of Jell-O

  • Willie K. wrote on March 15, 2013 01:55 PM :

    Like many in Congress, Hal has two personalities — the personality of a liberal Democrat like Carl D. Perkins when he is in his district, and the personality of a butt-kissing Republican operative who falls in line with House Leadership when he is inside the Beltway. He has become very wealthy while representing very poor people, so he feels very strongly both ways.

  • Mike wrote on March 15, 2013 02:17 PM :

    Jill Brown, you beat me to the punch.

    Mr. Rogers isn’t from the Kentucky neighborhood where people live and die by these decisions literally.

    He essentially said, “This is an awful budget. It shouldn’t even be considered; but, to prove I’m a good ole boy I’ll vote for it anyway, whether people die, become homeless, massive unemployment occurs (beyond our current REAL 23% unemployment rate), education suffers, etc. After all it will mostly protect our over-the-top military industrial complex.”

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