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Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Hosting Town Hall Meeting

Returning from Washington for the congressional recess, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has scheduled his first town hall meeting with constituents on Tuesday.

The event will be held at City Hall in Hartford, Ky., 116 East Washington Street at 2 p.m. CDT. It is expected Paul will address the contentious debt ceiling debate that embroiled Congress for the past month and the deal that was reached a week ago, which the Tea Party favorite voted against.

A new poll shows the negative perception of the Tea Party is on the rise as a result of the gridlock and U.S. credit downgrade, but Kentucky’s junior Senator issued a statement Monday pushing back at what he calls misplaced “mud-slinging and finger-pointing” at the group.

From Paul’s office:

“Blaming the Tea Party for America’s debt crisis and downgrade is like blaming the fireman for fires.

The Tea Party has been fighting for a serious solution that would rescue our finances through immediate spending cuts, spending caps and most importantly, a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. With the support of the Tea Party, I offered the only solution that could have prevented our downgrade with our Cut, Cap and Balance plan.

While Democrats would like to lay blame on the Tea Party for the current economic failure, it is their President who has failed in leadership, failed to lower unemployment, failed to rescue our economy, failed to prevent a downgrade of our debt, and failed to control spending.”

Paul will also be joining Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Owensboro, Ky. earlier that day with members of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.

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Local News

Yarmuth Town Hall Draws Capacity Crowd

Town Hall ParticipantCongressman John Yarmuth led a sometimes contentious discussion on healthcare in a town hall meeting at Central High SchoolWednesday. The meeting was Yarmuth’s first and only in-person town hall of the congressional recess.

Nearly 15 hundred people showed up for the meeting, and the much-publicized and outspoken dissenters who have appeared at meetings across the country were a vocal minority.

“Booing’s not going to change my explanation of it,” said Yarmuth. “You can be against it. I understand there are people who don’t support it, but I was asked to explain it and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Town Hall SecurityAfter drawing some boos for expressing support of a government-provided public insurance option, Yarmuth addressed a claim that the plan would put private insurers out of business.

“Let me put it this way,” he said. “We have…we spend in this country billions and billions of dollars every year on bottled water and we have a pretty good public option to that. It’s turn on your tap. People still buy public water. They still by bottled water.”

Yarmuth says the future of the public option could be determined by the president, who will address both chambers of Congress next Wednesday. To hear the full audio of Yarmuth’s town hall, click here.