News from Congressman Barr

January 19, 2020

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Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting with Fred and Cindy Warmbier prior to President Trump signing legislation into law that included my bill, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions and Enforcement Act, titled to honor their son Otto, who died at the hands of the North Korean regime.



Shortly before Christmas, the President signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2020 fiscal year. I am honored to say that my Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions and Enforcement Act was included in the law. My North Korea sanctions provisions – titled in honor of the late Otto Warmbier, who was unjustly imprisoned and later died as a result of his mistreatment by the Kim regime – impose the toughest financial sanctions ever directed at North Korea in order to cut off Pyongyang’s ability to finance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. I am also grateful that a 3.1% pay raise for our nation's servicemembers was included within this legislation, as well as funding for drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in Eastern Kentucky. You can read more about the NDAA here


Before the holiday break, I voted to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the House. This agreement would modernize trade between our North American neighbors, while strengthening our industries in the Sixth District and across the Commonwealth. This agreement is expected to add over 170,000 new jobs to our already historically strong economy, especially our agricultural, automotive and bourbon industries here at home. You can read more about USMCA and how it benefits Kentucky here



In March, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.” I voted no on both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump because the case is neither compelling nor overwhelming, and the only thing bipartisan about this impeachment is the bipartisan opposition to it. House Democrats are attempting to undo the will of the American people, capitalizing on an impeachment attempt that began immediately after the 2016 election. In case you missed it, I recently wrote a column about this issue, which you can read here. I also talked about the impeachment vote on Hey Kentucky! and you can watch my interview here


I joined Bill Bryant for an interview on the latest episode of Kentucky Newsmakers that aired on January 5. 


I recently sat down with Bill Bryant for an episode of Kentucky Newsmakers to discuss a variety of topics, including the legislative agenda for the new year, horse racing, improving veterans healthcare and the opioid crisis. We have made progress in vital areas that affect those across the District, but we have more work to do in the new session of Congress. I am excited to get back to working for those across our District and you can watch my full interview from Kentucky Newsmakers here



Recently, a Department of Defense's confirmed airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport killed Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani—Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and Shiite insurgency leader responsible for the killing of hundreds of Americans in Iraq. The President had legal authority to execute this military action under the Constitution and the War Powers Act. It is true that the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war and the sole power of the purse to either fund or defund military action. But dating back to the Prize Cases in 1863, the Supreme Court has long held that the President may act without Congress to defend the nation.

 The War Powers Resolution, 50 U.S.C. 1541-48, does not limit the President’s power to act without Congress. At most, it merely imposes a reporting and consultation requirement on the President until Congress passes a concurrent resolution to terminate the military action. Don’t forget the Framers of the Constitution specifically rejected a proposal that Congress be empowered to “make war” and implied power for the President to “repel sudden attacks.” This is an example of the latter and this decisive response to Iranian-supported aggression against our Embassy in Baghdad is a massive victory for our Armed Forces, our Intelligence Community and the United States of America.



I would like to invite students across the Sixth Congressional District to this year's 2020 Youth Ambassador Leadership Conference. This is a non-partisan, educational program designed for high school juniors and seniors who attend schools with the Sixth Congressional District. It provides a unique opportunity for students to hear directly from Kentucky leaders across various fields. This year's conference will coverall several topics, including: community healthcare, alternatives to four-year college education, law enforcement, financial responsibility, job searching, entrepreneurship and media in politics. A copy of the application can be found by clicking here. Students wishing to participate may complete and return the application to my District Office (address listed below) by January 17.

This year's event will take place on Saturday, February 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business. 


To better serve the people of central and eastern Kentucky, my staff conducts regular traveling office hours in every county of the Sixth Congressional District. These office hours a resource to help constituents who are in need of assistance and want to speak to a staff member in person.

A complete schedule of all upcoming dates and times for mobile office hours can be found by clicking here. As always, if you are unable to attend mobile office hours, contact my District office and my staff would be happy to assist you.

Please continue to let me know your thoughts and concerns about issues facing our community, and I hope you will forward my newsletter to your friends, family and neighbors. You may also visit my website, Facebook and Twitter, where you can find regular updates about my work at home in the Sixth District and in Washington.


Congressman Andy Barr

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