The – Da*n if you do, Da*n if you don’t – edition
In this week’s Sixth District Report Representative Barr spends most of his time talking about various Constituent services of his office. This is a very important part of being an elected official, and one that gets very little discussion during a campaign. From what I have seen and heard, Representative Barr takes these duties seriously, and has worked with people from across the district regardless of their views and political orientation. Barr has also worked on a number of bills dealing with industries with a major presence in the Sixth District, and this week he mentions his support of the most recent farm bill, which includes provisions to expand research on industrial hemp, which should be a good first step in the elimination on current restrictions on the production of industrial hemp in this country. I agree with Rep. Barr (and most of the Kentucky Congressional delegation, including Senators McConnell and Paul) on the need to eliminate current prohibitions on hemp production.
What Rep. Barr doesn’t mention is that his vote for the Farm Bill was also a vote against Food Stamps (actually SNAP). Republicans say that they simply want to vote on Food Stamps separately, and not as part of a comprehensive farm bill, but we shall see if they ever get around to actually voting on the issue.
Rep. Barr also takes the opportunity to criticize President Obama over the sequestration. He calls it “Obama’s Sequestration” even though the bill was enacted as a compromise by both parties to force both parties, and the executive and legislative branches, to work honestly to resolve budget issues. So it is disingenuous to call it “Obama’s Sequestration.” He then says that “the Department of Defense has borne more than its share of the burden.” This is also disingenuous since the sequestration bill specifically set out cuts on both the civilian and military side of the budget. So the DOD has borne precisely the share of the burden that was set by Congress in the Bill. In any event, he then complains that the sequestration would impact firefighters at the Blue Grass Army Depot, and notes that he worked with the DOD and the Army Depot to exempt firefighters from sequestration cuts.
Rep. Barr complains that the sequestration imposes across the board cuts (which is what it was designed to do), but I suspect that he would complain if President Obama tried to use some discretion in programming those cuts. Had Obama (actually his Treasury and OMB personnel) tried to go through the budget to target programs for cutting and saving, Republicans would be screaming that he was violating the law. So they condemn him for following the law, while holding out the threat of condemning him for not following the law. Pretty slick.