Despite McConnell's role in shutdown deal, Barr says he just couldn't buy it

10/30/2013 04:01 PM

In his first year in Congress, Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has jumped back and forth between siding with establishment Republicans — by voting with leadership sometimes — and the more conservative wing, including his vote against the deal to end the government shutdown.

That deal was crafted in part by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and backed by House Speaker John Boehner. But Barr said in an interview in his Washington office it still wasn’t good enough to get his support.

Barr, R-Lexington, voted against the deal to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling.

“I ran for Congress for the cause of saving the country from bankruptcy. And as I reflected upon the campaign commitments that I made, as I reflected upon what the people told me they wanted me to do when they elected me, they said very clearly…don’t do business as usual in Washington,” Barr said in an interview last week.

However like most Americans, many of Barr’s constituents did not want a government shutdown, including some that were outspoken about their frustration.

But Barr said the Oct. 16 deal did nothing to move the country forward and instead just added to the national debt.

“Think of it in terms of this, we are adding somewhere between ten and 20 billion dollars to the national debt every single week. And if you consider the fact that we have just punted and moved the debt ceiling date to Feb. 7 and then you take into account that the treasury department has these extraordinary measures…you’re looking at possibly 30 additional weeks with no reforms,” Barr said (at 2:45).

Barr said the nation’s spending is what the battle over the Affordable Care Act was all about because of the increase in federal spending that comes with it. Barr said he is concerned about the federal government keeping its promises.

“How are we going to make sure the government isn’t going to start breaking its promises to seniors and people who are medicaid eligible?” Barr said (at 5:00). “And now we are embarking upon a brand new two trillion dollar entitlement or spending program that is only going to make it harder for the government to keep its promises.”

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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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