Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Kentucky Federal Delegation Supports Disaster Declaration

Following Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators, the six members of the state’s House delegation sent a letter to President Barack Obama supporting Gov. Steve Beshear’s request for a federal disaster declaration.

An outbreak of storms and tornadoes last week caused damage to several Kentucky towns and Beshear has asked the president to provide the state with federal relief. Thus far, 21 residents have died and 48 counties have suffered extensive damage to public and private property.

Congressmen Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, John Yarmuth, Geoff Davis, Harold Rogers and Ben Chandler said the severe weather caused damage that the state cannot pay for alone.

“As the Governor conveyed in his letter, the severity and scope of the damage caused by these storms is beyond the capabilities of the Commonwealth and the local governments that have been affected,” the delegation writes. “Immediate consideration of the Governor’s disaster declaration request on your part would aid Kentucky communities so severely affected by this most recent disaster.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Joins Lawsuit Against Obama’s Recess Appointments

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced he is filed a brief to join a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s recess appointments.

In December, the president sidestepped the Senate by naming three new members to the National Labor Relations Board and installing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Constitution allows the president to “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate” which most scholars believe helps the continuity of the federal government by temporarily filling positions.

But the National Right to Work Foundation, the National Federation of Independent Business and other business groups have filed suit, claiming Mr. Obama violated the law.

Paul says the president has disregarded the separation of powers and condemned what he called Mr.Obama’s “unconstitutional usurpation of power.”

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Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., also blasted the president for bypassing Congress and invoking recess appointments.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Guthrie: Obama Violated Constitution With Recess Appointments

Joining Republican presidential candidates and other GOP lawmakers, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., blasted President Barack Obama for bypassing Congress and invoking recess appointments earlier this week.

The president sidestepped the Senate by naming three new members to the National Labor Relations Board and installing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The White House claims Senate Republicans were dawdling the nominees for key oversight panels, but critics have ripped the unilateral decision as dubious because the Senate is in “pro forma session” and technically not in recess.

Guthrie says the appointments are unconstitutional and has solicited feedback from constituents via Facebook and Twitter.

“I believe President Obama violated the Constitution with “recess” appointments made when the Senate was not in recess. His unprecedented attempt to ignore the Constitution and usurp authority from the legislative branch has even been questioned by his own justice department,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Kentucky House Delegation Supports Bourbon Bill

The entire Kentucky delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives supports a bill to change the federal tax code to benefit the commonwealth’s bourbon industry.

Lawmakers contend there is inequality in the Internal Revenue Service because bourbon is aged and must be carried in storage for extended periods compared to other distilled spirits. Introduced by Congressmen Geoff Davis and Ben Chandler earlier this year, the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act of 2011 seeks to exempt the natural aging process in the production for distilled spirits. It would allow distillers to deduct the interest expense to pay for their inventory as those costs are incurred.

“Bourbon is a signature Kentucky product throughout the nation and around the world.  The bourbon industry supports thousands of Kentucky jobs and this bill is an important step in leveling the playing field in the growing distilled spirits industry,” Davis said in a statement.

It is estimated the industry is responsible for 10,000 jobs in the state and ships $1.5 billion in bourbon each year.

The bill is co-sponsored by fellow Kentucky Congress members Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, John Yarmuth and Hal Rogers, and was recently assigned to the Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

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Guthrie Files For Re-election

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky Congressman Brett Guthrie has filed candidacy papers to seek a second term next year.

The Bowling Green Republican dropped by the State Capitol to fill out the paperwork and pay his qualifying fee. He tells Kentucky Public Radio his first year in Washington has been interesting and challenging.

“The direction the country’s going I think is the wrong direction for the country. And I believe there is going to be a change in Washington, D-C, coming in the next 2010 election. I want to be part of it to get our country back on track from the reckless spending that’s going forward, and the other issues that we need to work on as we move forward. And I believe that while I’ve been there, I’ve best represented the values of the 2nd District of Kentucky,” he said.

So far, Guthrie has no opposition. The 2nd District U-S Representative served in the state Senate before being elected to Congress last year.