Guthrie Outlines Priorities as Congress Gets Back to Work

Sep 5, 2017

Credit Kevin Willis, WKU Public Radio

As the U.S. House and Senate return Tuesday from summer recess, a Kentucky congressman says lawmakers need to turn their attention to two major budgetary items.

Republican Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green says Congress must decide whether to extend the nation’s debt limit, and have an appropriations bill by September 30 to keep government running.

“The House has been working on it," Guthrie told WKU Public Radio.  "Hopefully we can get something to the Senate early, so we don’t push up against the deadline like we seem to do, which does get frustrating.”

Guthrie says tax reform is also high on the Congressional agenda, adding that he expects a bill related to the issue to be unveiled soon.

He says he’s hoping for legislation that would simplify the tax code and reduce the corporate tax rate in order to make the country’s businesses more competitive internationally.

Despite failed attempts, Kentucky’s Second District Congressman says he’s not giving up hope for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Guthrie says he held 21 town hall meetings during the August recess and heard a lot of concern over rising insurance premiums.

“Your having increases, and our bill is not law, it’s under the current Affordable Care Act. That’s what we’re trying to stop," stated Guthrie.  "I think the pressure will continue to grow, and we can get one of three Senators to vote with us, we can restore the health insurance system to a way that’s more affordable to the American people.”

Three Republican Senators joined Democrats in defeating what was called a “skinny repeal” bill in late July.

Senate Republicans also failed to pass their own healthcare plan that would have replaced the ACA, as well as a bill that would have repealed Obamacare without providing an immediate replacement.

Guthrie said if a repeal and replace bill can't be passed, then lawmakers need to consider doing something to help stabilize the health insurance marketplace.

© 2017 WKU Public Radio