'Crisis mode' negotiating underscores need for public campaign financing, Yarmuth says

09/20/2011 08:05 AM

Congress will have to negotiate the next year’s federal budget “in a crisis mode” while the so-called super committee will have to agree on cutting the debt under similar hardships, said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat.

“We’ll see the same fights. Republicans in the House will be trying to cut a lot of what we call non-defense discretionary spending,” Yarmuth said at the 1:00 minute mark of the video. “And we’ll be trying to preserve a lot of the things we’ve done and we care about.”

Yarmuth said he’s doubtful that the super committee of six Democrats and six Republicans — half from the Senate and half from the House — can come up with a big agreement to reform programs like Social Security and Medicare and the tax system.

“I’m very skeptical of the ability of the super committee to come up with something both Houses can pass,” he said just before the 2:00 mark. Find out why between 2:30 and 4:00 of the video.

Yarmuth said the increased partisanship and influence of special interests in these and other debates underscores the need for public financing for political campaigns. (5:40)

“I think if people understood some of the ridiculous policies that are in the law only because lobbyists paid for them with campaign contributions — bought them — and the amount of time that their members of Congress spend raising money … and also the effect on partisanship,” Yarmuth said at the 7:00 mark. “It exacerbates the partisanship. It poisons the system. There’s a better way to do it.”

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