Protest Seeks Answers from Washington Politicians

by Devin Katayama on July 29, 2011

A protest was held outside the office building of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday. Protesters held signs and chanted and said they’re tired of Washington Politics.

“It’s not being able to communicate. Each party, there are three political parties right now, each party has a political corner and they will not agree to the other side. And who is suffering: the people,” said Larry Tomes, a retired sergeant major and Louisville resident.

Protesters wanted answers about what might happen if Congress can’t make a decision on how to prevent default by Aug. 2. Many were concerned that if the U.S. does default, payments for Social Security and Medicare will be compromised, but those payments are likely to be made, said Dewey Clayton, a political science professor at the University of Louisville. But some payments might be cut short, he said.

“It’s really sort of up in the air as to exactly, as far as some of those other concerns, who will receive payments and who won’t,” he said.

It’s difficult to say what state bills won’t be paid if the federal government runs out of money, he said. But Clayton expects Congress to make a deal before the nation reaches the debt ceiling on Tuesday. If it doesn’t, the question becomes how long can states hold out, he said.

Gov. Steve Beshear recently announced Kentucky has added almost $122 million to its rainy-day fund, making it better off than many states if a default occurs, said Clayton.

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