Yarmuth Has Concerns About Budget, Hopes For Compromise

by Gabe Bullard on February 15, 2011

In a news conference Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he’s hopeful he and Congress can have an “adult conversation” about his latest federal budget proposal, and Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says he thinks civil cooperation is possible.

Many Republicans have called for deeper cuts than those proposed by Mr. Obama. Yarmuth says compromise has been difficult on some issues in the GOP-led House, but he has hope for bipartisan budget negotiations.

“Last week, in the discussions we had in the Budget Committee, the tone was very cooperative and respectful and I think there’s a possibility we can work together,” he says.

Yarmuth says he appreciates the overall goal of the budget, which is to reduce the deficit over the next few years without hurting programs that benefit the economy, but he doesn’t like the proposed cut to heating assistance for low-income Americans, and he’s open to finding a way to restore those funds.

“Everything’s negotiable, and I think we certainly ought to look at every program as to its effectiveness and as to whether the expense is justified. I think there are ways to compromise an all these,” he says. “A lot of us, for whom some of these cuts the Republicans have proposed and even cuts like the ones the Obama administration has proposed would be much more acceptable if we didn’t have 10% unemployment and so many people suffering.”

Yarmuth says he would also like to see more changes in military spending. Specifically, the congressman wants the government to spend less on war efforts, though he admits that sort of change is unlikely.

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