Federal spending bill a 'great step forward' but should give Americans concern, Yarmuth says

01/20/2014 04:48 PM

Congress might have taken a “great step forward” with a compromise spending bill but the way in which the deal and others like it have gotten done should give Americans heartburn, said Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville.

Yarmuth said the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September restores some cuts to programs like Head Start that saw reductions through the sequester last year.

But he said Americans should “be aware” that the spending deal was forged in private by the appropriation committee chairmen — U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland. The rest of Congress had less than two days to read the more than 1,000-page document.

“That’s dangerous for democracy. I don’t like that. But that’s kind of the world we live in now,” Yarmuth said (5:00 of the first interview segment).

The interview begins with Yarmuth answering questions about President Barack Obama’s speech Friday about the NSA and its spying programs. Yarmuth has been among the liberals who have joined with more libertarian Republicans to vocally oppose the program that collected phone metadata from Americans without a warrant.

“I would have been more pleased if he would have just cancelled the metadata program and started fresh with Congress’s consultation,” Yarmuth said to start the interview.


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