News from Congressman Barr

March 10, 2020

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Last week, I voted to pass $7.8 billion in emergency funding to empower our federal agencies, state governments and communities nationwide to combat the COVID-19 virus, commonly known as Coronavirus. This package includes over $4 billion to vastly expand diagnostic tests, treatments for those afflicted and funding for vaccine development to stop this virus in its tracks.

In addition, over $2 billion will be allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to bolster their efforts to lead our nation’s response to COVID-19. Lastly, over $1 billion in funding will go to the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support their efforts to protect the nearly 9 million Americans who live abroad in diplomatic, humanitarian and other capacities.

The CDC recommends taking basic hygiene precautions similar to those used to prevent the spread of other diseases. They include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Additionally, the State Department has issued travel advisories for those considering out-of-country travel. The most updated advisories can be found on their website. I’d like to applaud the Kentucky Department for Public Health and local elected officials across the Sixth District for their due diligence on this issue. The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s website is another great resource for information updated, as is your local city or county’s website.



On February 29, I attended Eagala's Horse Conference to discuss the benefits of equine assisted therapy.


Horses can see into you and your feelings. As animals of flight, they are very sensitive to emotions. They are constantly observing the person they are interacting with. This demonstration at Eagala's Conference showed me how equine therapy can help people look inwardly. I will continue to advocate for Equine Assisted Therapy as an alternative method of treatment for post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues that some of our veterans experience once they return home from service. It’s very clear that Eagala’s work is extremely promising. I look forward to sharing their story with my colleagues on the Veterans Affairs Committee and with other members of Congress. You can view the story on this event from WKYT by clicking here, and you can read more about equine assisted therapy here. If your organization works with or offers equine assisted therapies and you would like more information on federal grant resources, contact my Director of Economic Development, Anthony Allen in my District Office. 



Last month, I visited VFW Post 1834 in Flemingsburg to commemorate the 75th anniversary of our flag raising at Iwo Jima. 


I was honored to attend an event at the Franklin Sousley VFW Post 1834 in Flemingsburg commemorating the 75th Anniversary of our flag raising at Iwo Jima. One of the great patriots who raised our flag at Iwo Jima was Private First Class Franklin R. Sousley, a Kentuckian who made the ultimate sacrifice during this historic battle. I also had the chance to bring my two daughters with me, and I am grateful they were able to learn about PFC Sousley’s service. We must never forget his sacrifice, nor the sacrifices of millions of Americans during WWII to defeat a great evil and preserve American freedom for generations to follow. You can watch LEX 18's coverage of the event in Flemingsburg here




Last month, I participated in a hearing with Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on the fiscal year 2021 budget. 


I raised the issue of the VA’s backlog of legacy appeals with Secretary Wilkie last week in a hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget. I am glad to see the VA is requesting more funding for judges to process these cases and plans to resolve this issue fully by 2022. You can see my full questioning with Secretary Wilkie by clicking here.  




Last month, I took part in the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau breakfast in Washington, where I had the chance to hear directly from farmers and agricultural leaders in our District. 


At last week's Kentucky Farm Bureau breakfast, I outlined why I am so excited about the new U.S.-Japan trade agreement. This deal will build on the successes of renegotiated trade deals in the last few years that will greatly benefit Kentucky farmers and agricultural exporters. The new U.S.-Japan trade agreement finalized in October of 2019 will provide American farmers and ranchers enhanced market access to the third largest economy in the world. Under the first stage of this agreement, Japan will reduce or eliminate tariffs on an additional $7.2 billion of U.S. food and agricultural products. Over 90% of U.S. food or agricultural imports to Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access. You can listen to my comments from the event here




The Members of the United States House of Representatives sponsor a nationwide art competition for high school students each spring. The winning piece from each congressional district will be displayed in the United States Capitol building for a year and the artist will receive two airline tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception. Artwork must be submitted to my District Office no later than April 7. More information, including a complete list of rules, can be found here


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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