The Chatter: Ky. U.S. House delegation votes 4-2 on GOP's job training bill; Plus McConnell at CPAC

03/15/2013 04:25 PM

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives tried to get a vote to raise the minimum wage, but Republicans passed legislation aimed at funding workforce training instead.

A measure pushed by U.S. House Democrats would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years and would have linked future annual increases to the rate of inflation. That measure failed along party lines.

The House did, however, narrowly pass the “Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act,” or SKILLS Act. That bill calls for eliminating duplicated job training programs across government and would create a workforce investment fund by eliminating some states’ use of federal funds for job training efforts.

Kentucky’s congressional delegation was split when it came to that vote with Republican U.S. Reps. Brett Guthrie, Andy Barr, Hal Rogers and Ed Whitfield voting for the measure.

“With approximately 12 million Americans out of work, we should be doing everything we can to arm them with the skills and training to re-enter the workforce,” Guthrie said in a press release.

Republican Congressman Thomas Massie voted against it because of cost. According to a press release from Massie’s office, the SKILLS Act would result in approximately $32 billion in mandatory spending and $50 billion in additional discretionary spending through 2022.

The Kentucky delegation’s lone democrat, Congressman John Yarmuth voted against the measure as well.

U.S. Sen. McConnell calls for change in GOP at CPAC
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference about a bright future he believes the GOP will have with young leaders, while Democrats line up behind a 2016 presidential ticket that could look like a “re-run of the Golden Girls”.

In his speech, McConnell stuck to the theme of the conference which is the “New Challenges, Timeless Principles” as he spoke to the need for the Republican Party to unite and move forward.

“Back home in Kentucky, parents have a way of teaching their kids about how to deal with adversity,” McConnell explained. “If you get your tail whipped you don’t whine about it, you don’t look for someone to blame, you stand up and you punch back” (at 4:20 in his speech).

McConnell continued by saying the Republican Party has to recover from the losses in the 2012 election and move on by unite behind the young leaders of the party.

(ACU video of full McConnell CPAC speech)

Kentucky’s other U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, was another dominant theme in McConnell’s speech. He mentioned Paul’s filibuster, conservative principles and 2016 White House ambitions. McConnell indicated he believes the party is going in Paul’s direction.

“More than ever we need the kind of constitutional conservatives we’ve got in the Senate who’ve been really bringing the fight to the left,” McConnell said. “And I am going to mention my Kentucky colleague Rand Paul as an example of that. He’s a warrior and we need more warriors” (at 6:35 in the speech).

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul introduces pro-life legislation in the Senate
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul introduced a bill Thursday that would classify life at conception using protections under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Paul’s pro-life bill would implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment for the right to life of each born and unborn human.

“The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known- that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection from that point forward,” Sen. Paul said in a press release. “The right to life is guaranteed to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence and ensuring this is upheld is the Constitutional duty of all Members of Congress.”


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