Ky. Congressional delegation’s lone Democrat says party should start addressing regulation differently

UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Kentucky U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville told Kentucky’s business community Monday that he believes the Democratic Party should start addressing over-regulation head on and be the party to tackle out-of-date regulations.

On the over-regulation from government that businesses often speak of, Yarmuth said the Democratic Party needs to be addressing those regulations.

In his speech at the Kentucky Chamber’s Congressional Forum, Yarmuth said the Democratic Party is the party of government, whether some in the party want to embrace that or not. And because of that, Yarmuth said his party needs to be the people who try to make sure government is running the way it should and that may mean going after regulations that aren’t working rather than just defending them.

Yarmuth stated that the Federal Communications Act was last updated in ’96 and there is not much of the world of communications today that existed then.  He believes the law should be re-written since it hasn’t been looked at for the last 20 years.  The same, he stated, could be said for other regulations.

Yarmuth discussed the partisanship of Washington, D.C. and the issues that arise with the way politics has become a spectator sport and the fact that campaigns are now run non-stop and every issue is looked at from the perspective of how to get an electoral edge rather than what could actually be effective.

Following U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s remarks, Yarmuth said the way McConnell speaks is part of the issue, stating that the polarizing speech is causing a divide that goes deeper than just Congress.

Yarmuth did, however, applaud McConnell for his work as Senate Majority Leader and his role in getting legislation passed to address the country’s budget, highway infrastructure and education needs.. But Yarmuth said there are still many bills the Senate has not taken up that he feels could make a real difference.

On policy issues, Yarmuth said immigration reform must be addressed. The delegation’s lone Democrat noted his work in recent years on immigration reform with a group of eight bipartisan legislators who worked for seven months to address the issue.

Yarmuth said the only reason that group got as far as they did on immigration reform is because their work was done in secret, again noting the issues presented by today’s political climate.

He added that the political climate makes it “virtually impossible” for any kind of comprehensive tax reform to pass at this point.

Speaking on the issue of state politics, Yarmuth talked about the issue of Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and the waiver recently submitted by Gov. Matt Bevin to the federal government to make changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion.

On the issue, Yarmuth said he believes Bevin has submitted a plan to the federal government that he knows they will reject “because they have told him they will.”

Yarmuth said he believes if the waiver is not approved and the expansion is dismantled, it will have very negative impacts on the state and many Kentuckians.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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