Barr: My spending responsible, aids my constituents
The Herald-Leader's distortion of my office spending is just the type of negative, political, business-as-usual attack by Washington Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama I am fighting to change.
I returned more than $50,000 to the Treasury from my office budget last year. I spent $300,000 less on personnel than my predecessor; have fewer staff; pay $20,000 less in district office rent and provide greater service, conducting outreach to constituents who say they have never before been asked for their suggestions, ideas and opinions.
We hold coffees, town halls, coalition meetings and conference calls with constituents; request input via questionnaires; provide legislative updates; and let constituents know how we can help them.
We've helped more than 2,300 constituents fight federal bureaucracy in my first 18 months in office, ensuring veterans receive their benefits; helping seniors make sense of Medicare; and standing up to the IRS, EPA and USDA. All mailings are approved by a bipartisan commission that prohibits campaign-style references.
I do not fly first-class; brought my own health care to Washington; do not participate in taxpayer-funded health insurance.
I introduced legislation to increase accountability and transparency in our government, including bills to cut compensation of members of Congress who do not responsibly manage our nation's finances; require Congress to live by laws it writes for the American people, including Obamacare; imposing term limits on members of Congress; prohibiting members of Congress from being paid if they don't pass a budget.
I am proud of our accountability and service.
U.S. Rep. Andy Barr
Thank you, VA
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone at the Lexington Veterans Affairs hospital who had a part in my recent care.
In particular, I would like to thank those in the departments of primary care, neurology and dentistry. They were all great.
Even the receptionists and those doing the scheduling were pleasant to deal with.
A big thank you to all.
High-cost payday loans create a debt treadmill and leave borrowers worse off. Most can't repay the loan and cover living expenses, so they take out multiple loans in a short time, repeating fees.
In March, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that four out of five borrowers renew their payday loan within two weeks.
Kentucky is one of five states without meaningful regulation of payday lenders.
In 2001, when the Senate considered a bankruptcy overhaul bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell's deciding vote killed an amendment to bar creditors from collecting debt in bankruptcy if they failed to comply with the Truth in Lending Act.
McConnell also tried unsuccessfully to kill a provision allowing borrowers to sue for illegal lending practices that was aimed at punishing companies like predatory lenders that use deception to lure customers into high-interest loans.
It is votes like these that earned McConnell a zero rating from the Consumer Federation of America in 2000.
Police, wear headgear
On news reports and in pictures of accidents or crime areas, most Lexington police officers are seen without headgear referred to as "covers."
When a man or woman wears a military or police uniform, that uniform includes an appropriate cap or cover. The cover is removed when entering indoors, except when the hands must remain free for possible gun use.
I don't think I have ever seen a Kentucky State Police officer under similar circumstances without his distinctive headgear.
If our officers do not like their headgear, then design another.
As a veteran of the Regular Army and National Guard, I think a police officer shouldn't step outside his squad car without headgear as he wouldn't step out barefooted, either.
As a graduate of the Citizens Police Academy, my words are designed to be more constructive than critical.
James M. McGlennan