Split among congressional GOP could create coaltion governing in 2012, Yarmuth says.

01/16/2012 06:48 AM

Democrats in the U.S. House could find themselves taking in a coalition-style governing approach with a faction of Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner if a split among Republicans continues, said Louisville Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth.

Yarmuth said that split only widened in December when Republicans argued among themselves about whether to extend a payroll tax cut for working Americans. (3:45 of the interview.)

After a tumultuous 2011 — dubbed by some observers ““the worst Congress ever”“:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/07/19/worst_congress_ever — Yarmuth said Congress will need to take on budget, spending and debt issues that essentially Congress punted on.

“What our party has learned is that, first of all, the American people love their government programs. They love Social Security. They love Medicare. They don’t want them changed in any substantial way. Yet they do want some fiscal responsibility,” Yarmuth said. (2:00)

Find out what he says about Social Security’s long-term viability (4:30). And watch what he says about President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy heading into his re-election year (6:45).

Yarmuth was the first incumbent congressman to file candidacy papers with the Kentucky Secretary of State last week.

And even though Congress has been marked by gridlock and frustration — and hit all-time lows in approval ratings as low as 11 and 9 percent in some polls — Yarmuth said other functions, such as constituent serves, are “gratifying.” (0:20)


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