By Congressman Andy Barr
I am proud to represent the people of Central and Eastern Kentucky in a seat in Congress that has existed for more than 200 years. It is a seat which has been occupied by many great statesmen including the Great Compromiser, Henry Clay. I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of these statesmen, serving the heart of the Bluegrass and recognizing my responsibility to fight for its future through various bipartisan roles in the House.
Outside of my responsibilities on the House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Financial Services, I remain an active member of many caucuses and working groups to ensure Kentucky’s interests are advanced as we debate and propose legislation.
As the recently selected Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Working Group, I meet bi-monthly with my fellow Co-Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and other members to discuss current policy proposals and how we can work across the aisle to deliver durable solutions to the challenges facing our nation. Some of these issues include the fiscal state of our nation, investment in infrastructure, and immigration reform.
To advance the priorities of Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry, I am the Co-Chair of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus, a bipartisan group of Members who are dedicated to growing the jobs and tourism surrounding the bourbon industry. The Caucus hosts a handful of events during each term of Congress to educate other Members on these issues.
In addition, I am proud to share the title of Co-Chair of the Congressional Horse Caucus with my colleague Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). This caucus serves as a forum to provide Members of Congress the opportunity to learn about government policies that impact the equine industry and to collaborate with industry stakeholders from across the country. As a result of this collaboration, we have introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act each Congress to establish and implement a national uniform medication program. Under existing law, the American horseracing industry labors under a diverse patchwork of conflicting and inconsistent rules governing medication, which ultimately impairs interstate commerce and undermines the public’s confidence in the sport. Last Congress, we secured more than 100 cosponsors and I look forward to building upon this bipartisan work by reintroducing this important legislation early this year.
Finally, I am a Founder and Co-Chair of the Global Investment in America Caucus, which has the important mission of elevating the role of global investment in the U.S. economy. Kentucky remains above the national average in its portion of jobs supported by foreign direct investment, and more than 100,000 workers in Kentucky are employed as a result of international investment. Foreign investment has also made Kentucky a leading state for American manufacturing job growth. I’m proud of the work of this caucus to ensure America continues to be the most attractive market for multinational companies to invest, grow, and hire.
In the spirit of the Commonwealth’s great statesman, these leadership roles allow me to work with my colleagues to develop effective, bipartisan solutions to some of our nation’s most significant challenges. This Congress, I look forward to continuing to work and advance these significant Kentucky industries.