Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Young: Washington is Broken

Speaking on the House floor, freshman U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-In., vented frustration with Washington, which he says is broken and has failed to find solutions on several issues this year.

The southern Indiana congressman did not offer any specific agenda to build bipartisanship in the GOP-controlled House or Democratic-controlled Senate nor did he blame party leaders.

But Young did call on colleagues in both parties to address the country’s problems with a sense of urgency and without political rancor.

“Whether you are Republican or Democrat, commit to proposing workable solutions. Get into the details. Put them on paper. Until both sides put a specific, written, scoreable plan on the table, we will never find the common ground necessary to strike that grand bargain. In the absence of specifics, we’re just playing politics. That’s why Washington is broken,” he says.

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Among the issues that Young voted in favor of was the balanced-budget amendment, which failed to pass Congress last month.

Local News Politics

Former Hamilton Aide To Seek 9th District Seat

From the Associated Press

A one-time aide to former Congressman Lee Hamilton plans to seek Hamilton’s old congressional seat in southern Indiana now held by Republican Todd Young.

Robert Winningham says he’ll run for the Democratic nomination in next year’s primary in the 9th District.

The 50-year-old says he was Hamilton’s campaign media director in 1992 and then his assistant for community development, helping with privatization of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant near Jeffersonville.

Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jonathan George also is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Republican-led redistricting added GOP-leaning areas to the district, but Winningham tells The Courier-Journal he believes the Tea Party movement that helped Young defeat Democrat Baron Hill in last year’s election is fading.

Local News Politics

Retired Air Force General To Seek Indiana Congressional Seat

A former national security aide to President Barack Obama says he’ll run for Congress in southern Indiana’s 9th District.

Retired Brigadier Gen. Jonathan D. George will try to retake the seat for Democrats.

Republican Todd Young ousted Democrat Baron Hill in the GOP’s 2010 sweep of the House.

George is a former top Air Force officer who led transition efforts in Afghanistan and most recently served on the National Security Council. He and his family have maintained a small farm near Bedford, Indiana, and he returned there full-time in August after retiring from the military.

George tells The Associated Press he hopes to attract more life-science companies to the state if elected.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press)

Local News Politics

McConnell, Yarmuth, Young and Fischer to Tour Sherman Minton Bridge

Inspectors have been surveying the damage on the Sherman Minton Bridge for over a week, and Saturday, they’ll be joined by a group of elected officials.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell and U.S. Representatives John Yarmuth and Todd Young will join federal and state transportation officials on a tour of the bridge. Afterward, they’ll discuss their findings with the media to update the public.

It’s not clear how severe the damage on the 50-year-old span is or whether it can even be repaired. Whether McConnell, Yarmuth, Young and other lawmakers will be able to secure federal funding to repair or replace the bridge is also unclear. The issue has been a frequent topic of discussion since the bridge closed last week.

McConnell will appear on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday. He’s expected to discuss President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to a crumbling bridge between Ohio and Kentucky. The president is promoting his jobs plan, which calls for increased spending on infrastructure. McConnell has been critical of the plan.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Young Questions Obama’s Leadership on Budget Negotiations

Believing there’s still a risk of a government shutdown, U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-In., says President Barack Obama has failed to lead on budget negotiations.

The freshman lawmaker, who represents most of southern Indiana, says the president has punted on the important debate around the federal budget and hasn’t been heavily involved in the mediation.

“President Obama regrettably has been disconnected from this entire negotiation process,” he says. “I know he kicked off his re-election campaign this week and he’s very busy with other things, but right now this one would think would bubble to the top of his list.”