Andy Barr

Andy Barr

KENTUCKY's 6th DISTRICT

Barr Votes for More Oversight of Iranian Terrorism Financing

2016/02/05

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted for H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act.  The bill provides for enhanced Congressional oversight over U.S. economic and trade sanctions, particularly over Iranian terrorism financiers.

“As a member of the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, I know that we must remain vigilant to stop the flow of funds to terrorist groups, prevent attacks, and keep the American people safe,” said Congressman Barr.  “By advancing its missile program in violation of international agreements and by detaining U.S. sailors, Iran continues to demonstrate why they should not be trusted.  That is why we passed this legislation to expand our oversight and leverage over sanctions against Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Specifically, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act would:

  • Block the President from offering sanctions relief to an individual or bank until certifying that such entity has not conducted a significant transaction with a terrorist organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or in support of either Iran’s ballistic missile or its conventional weapons programs.
  • Prohibit the Administration from lifting Iran’s designation as a “Jurisdiction of Primary Money Laundering Concern” until it certifies that the Government of Iran is no longer supporting terrorism, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, or engaging in illicit financial activities.
  • Provide Congress greater insight into how the Treasury Department licenses specific U.S. companies to do business in Iran.
  • Apply the Congressional Review Act to provide Congress the ability to disapprove of Iran related changes to the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Clarify that Iran’s proxies—Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad—are included in the definition of terrorist organizations for the purposes of financial sanctions against Iran.
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Barr Votes to Stop Federal Regulation of Farm Ponds, Ditches

2016/01/13

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted for S.J. Res. 22, to block the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from redefining “waters of the United States” to include smaller bodies of water including farm ponds and irrigation ditches.  The proposed rule significantly expands the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over virtually all waters and wet areas in the country.

“The proposed Waters of the United States rule is a federal power grab which would be economically disastrous for farmers, landowners, small businesses, and manufacturers,” said Congressman Barr.  “We are in the weakest economic recovery since World War II, with the lowest labor participation rate in nearly 40 years.  Now is not the time to undermine economic growth and kill jobs with more Washington knows best regulation. That is why I joined my colleagues in both the House and Senate in voting to reject this flawed rule.”

S.J. Res. 22 passed the Senate on November 4, 2015 and will now be submitted to the President for consideration. 

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Barr Responds to the State of the Union

2016/01/13

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today made the following statement after the President’s State of the Union Address:

“What the country needs is a plan to defeat ISIS.  What we need is an agenda to grow the economy.  Instead, President Obama gave us a lecture about his legacy and in defense of policies that have contributed to the worst economic recovery since World War II and chaos around the world.  Families continue to struggle and there is not a single place in the world which is safer or more stable today than on the day President Obama took office seven years ago.”

“That is why the House of Representatives will be putting forward bold policy ideas this year to balance our budget, grow the economy, empower people to escape poverty, fix our broken health care system, rein in an out of control bureaucracy, and most importantly, rebuild our military and secure our borders to keep the American people safe.”

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Barr Votes to Repeal Obamacare, Defund Planned Parenthood

2016/01/06

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act.  The legislation repeals the most damaging Obamacare mandates and taxes, and denies funding for Planned Parenthood of America through the budget reconciliation process, which is not subject to a Senate filibuster.

“As promised, the House and Senate have now put a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood on the President’s desk,” said Congressman Barr.  “President Obama now has a choice.  He can either relieve the American people of the burdens, mandates, and tax increases of Obamacare and stop supporting the barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars.  Otherwise he must accept responsibility for the continued failures and hardships created by Obamacare and the actions of Planned Parenthood.  Either way, I will continue to fight for the people who have been hurt by Obamacare and who are the innocent victims of abortion.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3762 would reduce the federal deficit by $516 billion over 10 years. 

Congressman Barr is an original cosponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act which would repeal Obamacare and implement a number of reforms to expand access to care by encouraging competition, portability, and innovation.  The legislation includes Congressman Barr’s Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act which would lower health care costs by preventing defensive medicine and encourage physicians to practice medicine according to clinical practice guidelines.  

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Barr Votes to Reform Visa Waiver Program

2015/12/08

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted for H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.  The bipartisan legislation makes reforms to the Visa Waiver Program in light of recent terrorist attacks and concerns that security gaps in the program could make it easier for foreign fighters and terrorists to enter the United States. 

“Ensuring the national security of the United States is my top priority,” said Congressman Barr.  “In light of recent terrorist attacks, it is essential that we review programs and processes that may leave our country vulnerable.  This legislation will help close security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program so that we can keep terrorists out of the country, and keep Americans safe.”

Created in 1986, the Visa Waiver Program allows more than 20 million people annually from 38 participating countries to more easily travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days.

It is estimated that approximately 5,000 Europeans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, many of whom are from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program.  Many of these countries fail to provide the U.S. intelligence community with critical information needed to ensure those traveling under the Visa Waiver Program are not a threat to the United States.

In order to address these vulnerabilities, the H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015:

  • Gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to suspend a country’s participation in the program if they fail to share counterterrorism information with the U.S.;
  • denies Visa Waiver Program status to those citizens from participating countries that have traveled to certain terrorist hotspots since 2011;
  • requires all Visa Waiver Program countries use fraud resistant “e-passports”;
  • allows for the suspension of high-risk countries.
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Barr Votes for Long-Term Transportation Bill

2015/12/03

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted for and the House passed H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  The bill funds improvements to America’s surface transportation infrastructure including roads, bridges, transit systems, and rail transportation network.  The bill includes a number of reforms to refocus funding on national priorities, provide certainty and flexibility for states and local governments, streamline approval processes, while maintaining a strong commitment to safety.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the U.S. transportation network has a cumulative grade of “D+.”

The final legislation also includes Congressman Barr’s H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices (HELP) in Rural Communities Act.

“While more needs to be done to address America’s infrastructure crisis and ensure our global competitiveness, I voted for the FAST Act because it provides much needed certainty and stability in our transportation investments for the next several years while implementing important reforms,” said Congressman Barr.  “The FAST Act not only provides funding for safer and more efficient roads, bridges, and railways, it also cuts through the bureaucratic red tape that is holding these projects back.  Better infrastructure will boost our economy through improved interstate commerce, and will help keep us safe while traveling.”

“I’m also pleased that this legislation contains my bill to help rural communities contest lending restrictions intended for urban areas.  The HELP in Rural Communities Act has passed the House twice with overwhelming bipartisan support and is now likely to become law.”  

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Barr’s HELP in Rural Communities Act Included in Final Version of Major Transportation Bill

2015/12/02

H.R. 1259, the Helping Expand Lending Practices (HELP) in Rural Communities Act introduced by Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) has been included in the final conference report of H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow.  Congressman Barr’s bill would allow communities to contest their designation as “non-rural” and the restrictions that designation brings on lending by community banks and credit unions.

H.R. 1259 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 401-1 in April.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) introduced the Senate version of the bill.

“With many rural communities still struggling to comply with burdensome regulations intended for urban areas, I’m pleased the HELP in Rural Communities Act has been included in this legislation, which will likely be signed into law,” said Congressman Barr.  “My bill has passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the past two Congresses, and I am optimistic it will get past the finish line and make a real difference for families and small businesses in rural America.”

Background:

The idea for The HELP in Rural Communities Act stemmed from a letter from a constituent that alerted Congressman Barr that Washington-based bureaucrats at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) incorrectly claimed that Bath County, Kentucky should be considered “non-rural” for purposes of its lending rules.

On January 29, 2015 in response to Congressman Barr’s legislation, the CFPB announced a rule to expand the definition of “rural” areas within its financial regulations to include Bath County, Kentucky.  While this was a positive development for this particular county, the expanded definition did not address the underlying problem – that Washington bureaucrats are arbitrarily designating areas as “rural” or “non-rural” with little transparency and no accountability.

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Barr Votes to Suspend Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program

2015/11/19

Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) voted today in favor of H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act.  The legislation immediately suspends President Obama’s plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States, and requires enhanced, comprehensive security checks and certifications before additional refugees from Iraq and Syria may be allowed to enter the country.

“My first and most important responsibility as a Member of Congress is to keep the American people safe,” said Congressman Barr.  “The Obama Administration’s own Secretary of Homeland Security and FBI Director have acknowledged that the U.S. government does not currently have the resources or adequate information to fully vet refugees from Syria.  This corroborates what I learned from U.S. Embassy personnel in Amman, Jordan when I was in the Middle East last month.  Given these security gaps, it is entirely appropriate and essential to our national security to pause the resettlement program until the nation’s top security officials certify that the screening process meets the highest standards and that each individual refugee is not a security threat.”

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Barr’s Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act Passed by House of Representatives

2015/11/18

The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act introduced by Congressman Andy Barr (KY-6) in a bipartisan vote of 255 to 174.  The bill promotes affordable home financing and discourages the practice of securitizing and selling of mortgages that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting taxpayer bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and large systemically important financial institutions.

“The one-size-fits-all, top-down Qualified Mortgage rule is preventing creditworthy Americans from the dream of homeownership, holding our economy back, and contributing to consolidation and closures among community banks and credit unions,” said Congressman Barr.  “My bill would expand access to credit as long as banks and credit unions do not sell the mortgages as securities.  This reform would have the dual benefit of promoting responsible lending practices which will prevent future crises and bailouts, while encouraging economic growth through expanded homeownership.”

The legislation reforms the Qualified Mortgage rule imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to allow banks and credit unions to hold mortgages in portfolio, therefore retaining 100 percent of the risk, to satisfy the requirements of the rule.  The bill promotes affordable home financing and discourages the risky practices which led to the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting taxpayer bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and large systemically important financial institutions.

The Independent Community Bankers Association reports that 73 percent of community bankers have decreased their mortgage business or completely stopped providing mortgage loans due to the expense of complying with the Qualified Mortgage regulation.

Click here for a video of Congressman Barr’s remarks during the floor debate of H.R. 1210.

 

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Barr Votes to Reform SNAP Program

2013/09/20

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement after voting for H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013, which passed the House by a vote of 217-210:

“Today, I voted to restore accountability and much-needed fiscal responsibility to an important federal program that has grown to unsustainable levels.  These commonsense reforms to our food stamp program will achieve nearly $40 billion in savings, while increasing funding for food banks.  The bill will provide a full $725 billion in food assistance to families and children in need over the next ten years.  This legislation is the most compassionate policy because it encourages people who are capable of work to move from dependency to self-sufficiency.”

 

As passed by the House of Representatives, H.R. 3102 will implement several important reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).   H.R. 3102 would protect the solvency of this important program by:

 

  • Reducing waste, fraud, and abuse and increasing oversight over benefit payments.  The legislation increases funding for local food banks, which are in a better position to ensure that nutrition assistance reaches those who truly need it.
  • Ending taxpayer funding for advertising and marketing efforts for SNAP and the automatic enrollment of people who do not need assistance.
  • Restoring the work requirements for able-bodied SNAP recipients without dependents.  Children, those unable to work, and the disabled will not see their benefits affected.  States will maintain the authority to grant waivers to able-bodied individuals who cannot work, due to issues such as mental illness.

 

These commonsense reforms will save taxpayers $39 billion between 2014 and 2023, a 5 percent reduction from the current Congressional Budget Office forecast of federal spending for SNAP, which totals $764 billion over the next decade.

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Contact Information

1432 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4706
Fax 202-225-2122
barr.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Andy Barr took the oath of office as the new United States Representative for Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District on January 3, 2013. As the Sixth District extends from the Bluegrass Region to the edge of the Cumberland Plateau’s coalfields, Congressman Barr enjoys the distinct honor of representing a geographically diverse region, whose residents work in virtually all of Kentucky’s signature industries.

Congressman Barr has dedicated his tenure in Congress to promoting the dreams and aspirations of his constituents by strengthening Kentucky’s signature coal, manufacturing, equine, bourbon, and agriculture industries, while fighting for policies that unleash the creative capacity of every individual. His immediate priorities involve getting Kentuckians back to work, promoting economic growth, and restoring common sense and fiscal sanity to Washington.

Garland “Andy” Barr was born in Lexington, Kentucky on July 24, 1973; the son of Garland Barr; the founder of a successful accounting practice, and Donna Barr, an Episcopal deacon and hospital chaplain. The second-eldest of three children; he grew up enjoying the blessings of a loving family while witnessing his sister Emily’s struggle to overcome the debilitating effects of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Emily’s victory, which culminated in her graduation from seminary and her ordination as a minister – inspired Andy Barr to seek causes larger than him in which to invest his talents and energy.

Congressman Barr graduated from Lexington’s Henry Clay High School in 1992, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1996, graduating with Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He served as Legislative Assistant for U.S. Rep. Jim Talent from 1996 until 1998, staffing then-Congressman (and future Senator) Talent’s participation on Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s Health Care Reform Task Force. He subsequently returned to Kentucky, earning his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 2001, where he participated on the College of Law’s Moot Court National Team.

In 2004, Congressman Barr joined the administration of newly-elected Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher (who represented the Sixth Congressional District from 1998 until 2003); ultimately rising to the position of Deputy General Counsel to the Governor. Barr returned to his Lexington-based private law practice in 2007.

Congressman Barr is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Lexington, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden and Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. He is a member of Christ Church Cathedral. He is married to the former Eleanor Carol Leavell of Georgetown, Kentucky; together, they are the proud parents of two daughters.


Serving With

Ed Whitfield

KENTUCKY's 1st DISTRICT

Brett Guthrie

KENTUCKY's 2nd DISTRICT

Thomas Massie

KENTUCKY's 4th DISTRICT

Hal Rogers

KENTUCKY's 5th DISTRICT

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