Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House. They control both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion. Now what?
This was one of the primary topics of discussion by speakers at 79th Annual Fifth District Lincoln Day Banquet, which was held at The Corbin Center Saturday.
Kentucky Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover-R told the annual gathering of Republican faithful that even though Republicans have a supermajority in the Kentucky house, it is not a time to gloat, be arrogant or prideful.
“It is a time to confront issues and problems that are facing every day Kentuckians. It is a time to find solutions to solve those problems. It is a time to lead in this state to solve those problems,” Hoover said.
“I tell our caucus that at the end of the day the question isn’t and should never be what did we do for Republicans today? The question is not and it should never be what did we do to the Democrats today? The question is and should always be what did we do to move forward the people of Kentucky? We are honored to have this chance to lead.”
Senate President Robert Stivers-R, Manchester, told the crowd that Kentucky leaders used their majorities in the house and senate for the first time this year to “strike like lightning” their first week passing seven pieces of legislation that were signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, who he thinks is doing a great job.
“I am glad he doesn’t tweet,” Stivers noted. “I am very grateful for that.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – R–KY, added that he rarely thanks Barak Obama, but when talking about gains Republicans have made across the nation in recent years, it is warranted.
“It seems to me that if you look at the progress our party has made all over the country the last few years, he was a great assist,” McConnell said. “There are more elected Republicans in all elected levels of government today in America than at any time since the 1920s.”
Now that the American people have given Republicans a majority in the U.S. House and Senate and a Republican president, the party has an obligation to deliver for the American people.
One of those obligations is to get the economy moving forward.
“If you look at the eight years of Barak Obama, what do you see? Very slow growth,” McConnell said.
A country like the United States should be growing economically at 3.5 – 4 percent a year, but under Obama, there was not a single year of at least 3 percent growth.
“Some would say that he inherited a recession. He sure did. Typically after a recession, the deeper the recession, the quicker the bounce back. Not this time. We didn’t have that kind of bounce back,” McConnell noted.
“The government was over-regulating every sector of our economy. If you are looking for a perfect example look at what happened to the coalfields under Barak Obama. Classic federal government over reach … We want to get the country growing. We want to get our foot off the brake and onto the pedal.”
In addition to repealing and replacing Obamacare, Congress is also going to pass comprehensive tax reform for the first time since the Reagan years, he said.
“We are going to get this country rolling again with jobs and opportunities for the next generation,” McConnell said to a round of applause.
U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers – R-KY, noted that this is a unique time for our country.
“The stars are all lined up for us now. We have the capability now to do what many of you have dreamed all your life, to make America great again and make Kentucky great,” Rogers added. “The opportunity is ours, if we have the courage to make it happen.”
Hall of Fame inductions
Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz was one of five people inducted into the Fifth District Lincoln Club Hall of Fame during Saturday’s banquet.
She was joined by Knox County Clerk Mike Corey, Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover, who is from Russell County, Clay County’s Barbara White Colter and Johnson County’s Bob Hutchison.
“We are here tonight to honor five individuals – die hard Republicans – devoted to the conservative principles of the Grand Old Party of Kentucky,” added Rogers, who oversaw the hall of fame induction portion of the banquet Saturday.
Schwartz has served in the Whitley County Clerk’s Office for 42 years, and is now in her 11th year as clerk.
Rogers noted that Schwartz has dedicated her time to countless committees, including: past president of the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association, President of the Tri-County Republican Women’s Club, board member of Cedaridge Ministries, and director of the Whitley County Jail Ministry for Women.
During her term as president of the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association, Schwartz successfully lobbied the state legislature to have a one-precinct election if there was only one candidate on the ballot, which has saved thousands of dollars for Whitley and numerous other counties.
“As county clerk, Kay has applied for and received thousands of dollars of grant money for the office to use for things like a genealogy research room providing the public access to records that date back to the 1800s,” Rogers noted.
“Kay has been a good friend to Republican leaders. She is always willing to step in and take action when we need to rally the troops.”
Schwartz told the audience of hundreds of people that she was honored by her induction into the hall of fame.
“What a great honor it is to be here tonight and to be included with such distinguished members of the Fifth District Hall of Fame,” she said.
“I want to thank my family for always supporting me, and always putting up with my crazy schedule. They have always supported me, and my staff sitting back there at table 42 tonight. It will always be a great honor for me to be inducted with such distinguished members of the fifth district. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the USA.”
Lincoln Club President Suzie Razmus served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Towards the close of the banquet, 2018 Lincoln Club officers, who were in attendance Saturday, were sworn in.
The 2018 officers include President Andrea Begley, President-Elect Mike Noftsger, Secretary Kay Schwartz, Treasurer Jenny Mitchell and Sgt. at Arms Bob Hutchison.