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Yarmuth Hopes Legislature Fairly Distributes Stimulus Dollars

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says he’s concerned about how the Kentucky legislature will distribute federal stimulus dollars.

The General Assembly will be responsible for doling out some of the billions of dollars estimated to benefit Kentucky from the recently passed stimulus package. Yarmuth says he hopes legislators are fair.

“When the General Assembly starts dealing with money, historically Louisville has not come out on the best side of the ledger,” he says. “So I’m concerned about it but I think Governor Beshear understands the priorities.”

Including tax cuts, Yarmuth estimates the stimulus will bring 7 billion dollars to Kentucky.

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Yarmuth Hopes To Move On To Health Care, Bank Oversight

With the federal stimulus package passed, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth says banking regulation will be the next major issue before the House.

The 3rd District Representative says Congress will work on new ways to oversee the use of federal bailout funds. One of the more popular options, he says, is the creation of a central agency or committee to provide oversight.

“That’s one thing that’s being talked about is a new regulatory body that would make sure that any financial instrument that is offered to the public meets certain guidelines, capitalization guidelines and so forth,” he says.

Yarmuth says he also hopes the House will begin working on health care reforms for 2010.

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Yarmuth Says Stimulus Funds Could Come To Kentucky Soon

Kentucky 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth says the commonwealth could see the first benefits from the federal stimulus package within the next few months.

The $787 billion package is up for a final vote in the Senate this evening. Yarmuth says if it passes, money will become available for projects within the next 90 days. But funding won’t come in the form of checks to states or cities and much of it will have to be applied for.

“The state will have money that it has available to it on a discretionary basis and the federal government, through its normal allocation process will have some of this money as well,” he says.

Yarmuth says the package includes about 1.2 billion for education funding in Kentucky.

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Yarmuth And Chandler To Suggest Huber's Successor

Congressman John Yarmuth says there’s no rush to suggest possible successors to former U.S. Attorney David Huber.

Huber represented the Western District of Kentucky for just over five years. He retired last week and it’s up to President Obama to choose a successor.

Obama will pick a new attorney from a list compiled by Democratic Congressmen John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler. Yarmuth says they’ve looked at several candidates, and there’s no hurry to submit the list to the President.

“The White House said ‘You can get your recommendations to us anytime you want, but we’re probably not going to do anything with them until March or April,’” says Yarmuth.

Yarmuth says he and Chandler are also consulting with Senator Mitch McConnell about the list of candidates. Huber’s successor will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

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Yarmuth Touts Stimulus Passage

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville says the stimulus bill that passed the House this week could bring billions of dollars to Kentucky.

The bill is now in the Senate. Yarmuth says that body will likely make some changes to the $819 billion package, but he believes provisions that would help the Commonwealth will remain.

“It could be as much as I think about $2.5 billion for Kentucky over the two years,” he says. “That is in all sorts of categories. Funding to help with Medicaid shortfalls, construction and food stamps, the extension of unemployment benefits and roads and highways money.”

Yarmuth says he expects the bill to receive bipartisan support in the Senate. No House Republicans voted for the package.

Indiana stands to gain about $4 billion in the package.

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Yarmuth Says Economy, Health Care Are Top Priorities

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville says the country’s health care system must be reformed in order to protect the economy.

As he begins his second term, Yarmuth says he hopes the new Congress will take steps toward giving everyone access to at least a basic level of health care coverage. He says taking the health care burden off of industry would save companies millions of dollars in insurance costs.

“When you’re looking at situations like the automobile manufacturers, solving their problem has to include solving the health care problem,” says Yarmuth.

Yarmuth says he believes President-Elect Obama won’t immediately take action to end employer-provided healthcare.

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Yarmuth's Office Flooded With Inauguration Ticket Requests

Thousands of Louisville-area residents have submitted requests for tickets to the presidential Inauguration.

Third District U.S. Congressman John Yarmuth’s office is responsible for distributing his allotment of tickets, but says demand far outweighs supply.

“I think it’s approaching 7,000 requests that we’ve had for tickets,” he says. “And we were allocated 198, so unfortunately a lot of people are not going to be happy about that.”

The inauguration is January 20th. Yarmuth has no official role in the ceremony.

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Yarmuth Supports Bailout Package

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth reluctantly supported the economic recovery package that cleared the Senate this week.

Yarmuth was one of 228 House members who opposed the previous recovery package on Monday.    He isn’t happy about the new bill, but he says it’s necessary in order to calm the public and prevent a total economic meltdown.

The recovery package includes a $700 billion bailout of the country’s financial sector. It also includes millions of dollars in earmarks, which Yarmuth says are extraneous.

“I think that was a horrible thing for the Senate to do,” says Yarmuth. “I think it undermines the credibility of this proposal and I think it undermines the credibility of Congress.”

Yarmuth acknowledges that the likely won over some colleagues who voted against the first bailout package,  by bringing extra money to their districts.

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Yarmuth Says Congress Under Extreme Pressure on Bailout Bill

Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth says lawmakers on Capitol Hill aren’t being given enough time to consider the Bush Administration’s 700-billion dollar financial bailout plan.

President Bush has asked Congress to act quickly on the plan, but Yarmuth says there isn’t enough time to fully vet such a large bill. He says there isn’t really even enough time to fully comprehend the problem.

“This is really a psychological crisis,” says Yarmuth, “I mean, I think that’s the best way to put it.”

Yarmuth says Congress is under extreme pressure to approve a plan to improve the country’s floundering economy by Monday morning.

“Just look at it reasonably, we are being asked to make the largest financial commitment in the history of the United State, in three or four days,” says Yarmuth.

Yarmuth and other Capitol Hill lawmakers have been flooded with messages from their home districts, urging them not to approve the plan.

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Yarmuth Praises Housing Bill

Congressman John Yarmuth is praising President Bush’s signing of the latest housing bill.

The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act will allow families in danger of foreclosure to refinance into government-insured mortgages. It also gives first time homebuyers a tax credit as well as helps cities and states rehabilitate foreclosed properties and make financial support available to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In a press conference with representatives from local mortgage banks, home builders and real estate organizations, Yarmuth said filling empty homes could help address other problems.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this legislation to ultimately helping to stabilize local government budgets,” he said. “Because so much of what we do here, our educational funding and so forth is predicated on property taxes.”

About nine thousand homes in the Louisville area are listed for sale. That number doesn’t include foreclosed properties or homes that are being sold by their owners.