Andy Barr has served as the U.S. Congressman for Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District since January of 2013. Congressman Barr is a senior Member of the House Financial Services Committee and is Ranking Member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In the 117th Congress, Congressman Barr also began serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and serves on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Barr has fought to deliver resources to frontline healthcare heroes, small businesses, workers and families throughout Kentucky. Congressman Barr helped craft and supported five bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages. An early supporter of Operation Warp Speed (OWS), Congressman Barr voted for $10 billion in funding for OWS, which led to the development of multiple safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year. Congressman Barr also voted for $48 billion for vaccine distribution in schools, small businesses and healthcare providers shortly after COVID-19 vaccines were approved for emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December of 2020.
Additionally, Congressman Barr helped devise the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which delivered over $1 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses and kept paychecks flowing to thousands of workers and their families in the Sixth District.
In response to the outbreak of the pandemic, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) created the House China Task Force (CTF). CTF was established to examine the origins of the pandemic and provide policy recommendations to better position the U.S. against the emerging military, economic, political and technological threat posted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Congressman Barr was selected by Leader McCarthy to help lead the CTF, Co-Chairing the Subgroup on Competitiveness and the Subgroup on Economics and Energy.
CTF issued its final report and recommendations on September 30, 2020, which included five bills introduced by Congressman Barr ranging from protecting COVID-19 vaccine research from CCP hackers to enhancing coal mining permits to support the mining of rare-earth elements used to produce military weaponry such as the F-35 fighter aircraft. Congressman Barr’s work on the CTF was instrumental in his selection to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee during the 117th Congress.
Throughout his time in Congress, Congressman Barr has been a staunch advocate for veterans. In the 116th Congress, Congressman Barr served on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. In 2019, he introduced and helped enact into law amendments to the Edith Nourse Rogers Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship as part of the Forever GI Bill. These amendments lowered the credit hour requirement in the scholarship that made it more accessible to student veterans across the country. Congressman Barr also worked to address the crisis of veteran suicide, successfully expanding equine assisted therapy (EAT) as an innovative treatment for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other invisible wounds of war. Barr’s efforts culminated in historic EAT provisions being included in the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act.
Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic in meeting with constituents face-to-face, Congressman Barr remains committed to his Accessibility Initiative. Congressman Barr created several constituent coalitions focused on finding solutions that will help Kentucky’s veterans, signature industries, and combat the ongoing drug epidemic. In 2020, a meeting with the Sixth District Veterans Coalition led to Congressman Barr authoring the Veterans Benefits Fairness and Transparency Act of 2020, which protects veterans applying for VA disability during the pandemic. This law, inspired by a local Kentucky veteran, was introduced, passed, and signed into law by President Donald Trump all within a calendar year.
Congressman Barr is also focused on strengthening Kentucky’s signature bourbon, equine, coal, agriculture and manufacturing industries, and serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse and Bourbon Caucus’. In 2020, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, led by Congressman Barr was signed into law by President Trump. This represented the most transformational and consequential reform of the thoroughbred horseracing industry since enactment of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 and solidifies the industry for decades to come. Congressman Barr also secured the passage of legislation that made permanent the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) in December of 2020, which was set to expire at year-end. This legislation lowers the Federal Excise Tax (FET) rates for distillers and includes Congressman Barr’s AGED Distilled Spirits Act (ADSA), which is a huge boost for the Kentucky bourbon industry.
Congressman Barr graduated from Lexington's Henry Clay High School in 1992, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1996, and received his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 2001.
Additionally, 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 President of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky.
He and his late wife, Carol, have two daughters, Eleanor and Mary Clay.