Politics
3:15 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Senator Mitch McConnell Spearheads GOP 'Working Families' Agenda

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill Wednesday to assist working-class Kentucky parents take care of their children.

The "Working Parents Home Office Act" would give parents a tax deduction for their home office if they have a baby crib.

Currently, federal law does not allow work-at-home parents the opportunity to deduct those costs.

McConnell's measure is part of a larger GOP push to soften their image on economic issues ahead of the 2014 mid-term election. 

Senate Republicans are set to unveil six bills aimed at working-class Americans. Those measure include a proposal that would prevent businesses from retaliating against employees who inquire about their salaries.

"All of these ideas are consistent with our party’s longstanding commitment to the principles of upward mobility, shared responsibility for the weak, and a strong but limited central government. And every single one of them deserves a vote," McConnell said. "For my part, I’ve pressed for legislation that addresses a variety of concerns of the people in my state."

Read the bill:

Grimes Says McConnell 'Pretends to Care'

Back in Kentucky, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes took exception to McConnell's floor speech.

In a statement, Grimes also reminded voters the GOP leader has opposed a string of other Democratic-basked economic measures such as raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

"Mitch McConnell has some nerve to suddenly show concern about low wages for workers after he voted against increasing Kentuckians' wages over 15 times," said Grimes. "The contrast between my opponent and me on strengthening the middle class could not be starker: I'm proud to have led the nation in calling to raise the minimum wage for all Kentuckians."

Ripping McConnell, Grimes's team called the senator's tenure in Washington a "horrendous" time for Kentucky women and families.

Almost 20 years ago, McConnell opposed the Family and Medical Leave Act. Ten years later, he stood against an amendment that would have allowed victims of domestic violence to take leave from work for up to a month.

In the late 1990s, the Republican lawmaker voted down a bill to expand tax credits to encourage child care services and options at businesses.

The Grimes narrative of McConnell being an entrenched 30-year-incumbent is important enough for her to embrace a more decidedly liberal voice in the Democratic Party—Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

McConnell who led a filibuster to block Warren's measure tackling student loan reform.

Since then Warren, a rumored presidential candidate, has been on the warpath against Kentucky's senior senator.

The Republican leader's re-election campaign was quick to connect Grimes to national Democrats.

"Alison Lundergan Grimes may be Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren’s ‘perfect candidate’ to assist them in enacting their liberal agenda in the Senate, but she is anything but the ‘perfect candidate’ for Kentucky," said McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore.

"Grimes has proven that she will say one thing to Kentuckians but does the opposite when she’s with her inner circle of supporters who have a long record of backing anti-coal, anti-Kentucky policies."

Warren has pledged to campaign for Grimes and has instructed her donors to give to the Grimes campaign. In her own a fundraising e-mail, Grimes said she appreciates Warren's help even while trying to avoid all of the Massachusetts Democrats more progressive views.

"Senator Warren and I may not agree about everything, but we do agree about this: working families can't afford to have Mitch McConnell in Washington, D.C. and we must do everything in our power to make sure Mitch McConnell doesn't see another term," said Grimes.

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