Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told RollCall on Wednesday that he supports a bill filed in the Kentucky state legislature that aids his junior Senate counterpart—less than a week after he said he doesn’t take positions on state-level legislation.
McConnell told RollCall he supports a bill filed by state GOP Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer that would permit any candidate seeking statewide office to have their name appear on the ballot twice if they are also seeking the presidency (or vice presidency) of the United States.
“I favor that,” McConnel said of Thayer’s bill. “Did they approve that? Yeah. I think that’s a good idea.”
The bill, SB 205, is designed specifically for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Thayer says. Paul is largely viewed as a favorite to secure the GOP’s presidential nomination should he announce his intention to run for that office. The bill passed out of the Senate’s State and Local Government Committee by a 9-2 vote Wednesday afternoon.
But on Friday, McConnell told Kentucky Public Radio, “I don’t generally take positions on issues in Frankfort. I work in Washington.”
That was McConnell’s answer to a question about whether he supports a bill filed by Sen. Katie Stine, a Republican from Southgate, that would seek to crack down on heroin traffickers and shore up treatment for opiate addiction with Medicaid funds appropriated by the Affordable Care Act.
On Friday, McConnell attended a “listening session” in Northern Kentucky to address that region’s burgeoning heroin epidemic.
Regarding Stine’s bill, McConnell said he doesn’t offer support for state-level legislation on general principle, and he dodged a question on the issue of funding treatment for heroin by the Affordable Care Act, which he has been an ardent opponent of.
“The Affordable Care Act is 2,700-page bill,” McConnell said. “Frankly, nobody knows what’s in it, so I can’t answer your question.”