Kentucky's only Democratic congressman is poised to assume a committee chairmanship when his party takes control of the U.S. House, an expanded role that he intends to use to delve into key policy issues including health care, climate change and immigration.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said Wednesday he wants to expand the House Budget Committee's role to include more oversight responsibilities. As the panel's ranking Democrat, he's in line to assume the chairmanship when the new Democratic-led House convenes next year, Yarmuth said.
In recent years, the committee's chief responsibility was to pass budget resolutions setting overall spending limits for appropriators, he said. The Louisville Democrat wants to broaden its scope to wade into weighty issues such as tax cuts, climate change and immigration to examine their impact on the federal budget. Another subject he wants to explore is the fiscal impact of a Medicare-for-all health care system.
"These are discussions that really never occur in Washington," Yarmuth said in a phone interview a day after he won re-election in the 3rd District. "Those kinds of discussions would be really useful for the country."
Yarmuth says the new Democratic House majority should be aggressive in investigating Republican President Donald Trump, his business dealings and the inner workings of his administration.
He says he supports Nancy Pelosi's bid to become House speaker again.