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Tom Block: Congress’ return to Washington forces budget, foreign affairs issues to fore


This week Congress returns to Washington after its five-week recess and has three weeks to pass a spending plan for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Everything Congress does in the next few weeks will have the November …

Tom Block: House and Senate approved short-term funding of Highway Trust Fund


Earlier this summer I wrote of the challenge faced by Kentucky and the nation with the impending shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund and the potential for stopping of work on large road projects across the Commonwealth and the nation. …

Tom Block: In the 2014 race to control
the Senate, two seats are likely to change


The focus of the political world during the midterm elections will be on which party ends up controlling the U.S. Senate. As I have written, the Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win over control of the …

Tom Block: Fund for highway infrastructure almost broke; something needs to be done


  Any drivers who have been in and around downtown Louisville know that with the Ohio River Bridge project, road construction is one infrastructure program that is being funded, and jobs created.   Those in Northern Kentucky know that we …

Tom Block: Will some Republican opposition to Export Import Bank be enough to kill it?


Below the radar screen in Washington is an interesting issue that could have an impact on Kentucky. It’s the future of the Export Import Bank of the United States.   Over the last five years, 39 exporters in Kentucky have …

Tom Block: A first look at how the Senate might look after the November election


With the victory of Senator McConnell, and the important primary in Georgia Tuesday, it is a good time to review the overall picture for control of the Senate that will be determined in November.   The battle for the Senate …

Tom Block: House didn’t need vote on Ryan budget, except for Republican Nov. races


Last week was an interesting week in the U.S. House of Representatives when before adjourning for the Easter/Passover break, they acted on the budget proposal developed by Budget Chairman, and 2012 vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.   While the bill eventually …

Tom Block: Kentucky senior senator did what he, a leader, had to do on the debt-ceiling vote


Sometimes here in Kentucky we forget our senior Sen. Mitch McConnell has another title in Washington: Leader.   McConnell is the Leader of the Republicans in the Senate, and as we saw on Wednesday, Feb. 12, sometimes a leader has …

Tom Block: Budgets will keep Congress busy this year, but other issues are ripe for 2014


In Washington, 2013 ended with approval of a two-year budget agreement, and 2014 began with the passage of the massive spending bill, which funds the U.S. government through the current fiscal year. The level of $1.012 trillion exceeds the $986 …

Tom Block: Two giants of history, Mandela and Washington, just right for their times


In 1990, I was working on issues related to South Africa at a major New York bank and was given an invitation to attend the dinner at the Waldorf honoring Nelson Mandela.   It was one of the highlights of …