Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 10, 2013

Massie not confident in a quick compromise

ASHLAND — Congressman Thomas Massie said Thursday he felt a “sense of urgency” in the Capitol to resolve the ongoing government shut down that he didn’t have before last week.

In a conference call with reporters early Thursday, Massie said he envisioned a deal before Saturday that would allow the government to temporarily raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default, but was less confident a compromise to fully reopen the government could be reached quickly.

Massie said he personally did not believe if the Oct. 17 deadline passed without the limit rising, that the U.S. would default on its obligations, unless President Obama instructed the U.S. Treasury Department not to pay the interest on the national debt. “Personally, I believe, as does Moody’s debt rating service, that we would not default if we ran up against the debt ceiling.

“It would take somewhere between five and 15 percent of our revenue to make our interest payments, so there is no reason to default on the interest payment. ... If we defaulted it would be because the President instructed the treasury not to pay the interest,” said Massie. “We have to address the long term entitlement programs before I vote for a debt limit increase, there has to be something in that debt limit extension that deals with the long-term problem.

“In order for me to vote to raise the debt ceiling, I want to see some reform or cuts that would get us to a balanced budget in a reasonable amount of time,” said Massie, which to him means four years.

 “I would not tie my vote for a debt limit increase to Obamacare, and I’m sure most of the congressmen here in the House of Representatives would say the same thing,” he said.

However, Massie said, he did not see himself voting for a continuing resolution to reopen the government that includes funding for the Affordable Care Act. “But I think it is important for the President to come to the table and say what he would do,” said Massie, “We sent three offers, and the third offer we sent does fund Obamacare, but it does change it in some small way.”

Massie was among the 12 House Republicans who did not vote for that bill because of his concern it would allow for full implementation of Obamacare.  

“I would like to keep my options open and not paint myself in a box. I think it is important to consider anything the President puts on the table,”

“We think we have a pretty good strategy,” said Massie, referring to the ongoing stalemate between House Republicans and the Democratic-controlled Senate over funding the federal government.

Rather than one large massive spending bill, Massie said he favors passing numerous smaller bills to fund individual parts of the government.

“We have passed enough of those line-by-line resolutions to fund 50 percent of the discretionary spending that a continuing resolution will fund; none of those bills are conditioned on Obamacare,” said Massie.

As for thousands of federally-employed Kentuckians who are furloughed, Massie said he was “sympathetic” to their plight.

 “It is a difficult situation and I am sympathetic,” said Massie. “I would like to get a resolution soon.”

He and his entire staff are also not being paid but are continuing to work, said Massie. “We deemed all of our staff essential and they are all coming to work. None of them will get paid unless there is some sort of resolution. I put myself in the same category voluntarily ... If they don’t receive their back pay, I won’t receive mine,” said Massie.

The House passed a bill Saturday to pay furloughed federal workers once they return to work, but it has yet to get Senate approval. The White House supports the move.

Massie suggested furloughed employees seek short-term loans to cover their expenses while they wait to receive backpay when the federal government finally does reopen. “The credit unions are offering advances at zero or near zero percent on their paychecks,” said Massie. “It is just a practical answer if I was in that situation. They are going to get paid,” he said.

Massie said the assumption has always been federal workers would get paid for their missed work “because that is what happened on the last 17 shut downs.”

Obamacare

“The last offer we sent to the President was not to defund it, so our reserve price has been lowered,” said Massie. “All we’re asking right now is for a reprieve from the individual mandate,” he said.

 He said the tens of thousands of Kentuckians who have already signed up through the state’s health insurance exchange, Kynect are not going to have to worry about it being defunded.

Massie said his office had been fielding more constituent calls asking him to negotiate to reopen the government versus sticking to the Republican position. “Feedback is conflicting. It is not overwhelming one way or the other,” said Massie. “I am listening,” he added.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0425M&Mcontinues.jpeg Downtown lunch with the arts continues at noon today

    Born with a love of traditional country music that could only belong to a truck-driver’s daughter, and growing with dreams of living lessons through Loretta Lynn songs, Canadian-born singer Crystal Shawanda has more recently added the inspirations of ladies including Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Big Mama Thornton, Tina Turner and the mighty Janis Joplin to her shows — including her open-air appearance on Judd Plaza downtown starting at noon today.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs: 4/25/14

    The city’s annual Arbor Day tree seedling giveaway will take place from noon to 6 p.m. today, or until all seedlings are gone, whichever comes first, at Central Park.

    April 24, 2014

  • Grimes goes on attack over McConnell jobs comment

    Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Alison Lundergan Grimes is castigating incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for telling a Beattyville newspaper editor that it’s not his job to bring jobs to Lee County.

    April 24, 2014

  • City to seek proposals for floating restaurant

    The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday voted to advertise for proposals to locate a floating restaurant on the city’s riverfront.

    April 24, 2014

  • Luallen says no to 2015 governor’s race

    After months of deliberation, former state Auditor of Public Accounts Crit Luallen announced Thursday she will sit out the 2015 race for governor.

    April 24, 2014

  • BREAKING: APD probes gun report near Blazer campus

    April 24, 2014

  • Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit

    A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
    In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom

    The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
    “She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.

    April 23, 2014

  • Concrete pouring at Putnam

    Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
    The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
    The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • Unique races for Carter magistrates

    Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
     

    April 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone