By Sam Youngman
U.S. Rep. Andy Barr said in an interview late Wednesday night that he voted against the final agreement to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling because that’s what his constituents wanted him to do.
Barr told the Herald-Leader that in the hours before the House approved a deal brokered in the Senate by Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, he read the bill, thought of his daughters and the debt their generation stands to inherit and watched old campaign footage to remind him of why he was in Washington.
Barr said he watched a recording of one of his campaign speeches from the Capitol Rotunda where he told voters he “was running for a cause and not a career and that cause was to save America from bankruptcy.”
“When I looked at this legislation tonight, I did not believe in the final judgment it did what the people of the Sixth District asked me to do,” Barr said.
He added: “I feel very confident that I did the right thing because this is what my constituents asked me to do.”
Barr has been targeted by national Democrats who see a district not as safe as those of Barr’s colleagues in the House, mostly identified with the Tea Party, who have insisted that President Barack Obama’s health care law be modified as part of a deal to fund the government.
When asked if he had made himself more vulnerable by voting against a bill that was destined to pass, Barr was adamant his re-election prospects were not a factor in his decision.
“You know what? I don’t care, and I am not focused on politics,” Barr said. “This is not about politics. This is about the next generation.”
Roll call for Kentucky’s congressional delegation
Sen. Mitch McConnell — Yes
Sen. Rand Paul — No
Rep. Andy Barr — No
Rep. Thomas Massie — No
Rep. Brett Guthrie — Yes
Rep. Hal Rodgers — Yes
Rep. Ed Whitfield — Yes
Rep. John Yarmuth — Yes