Mitch McConnell

Politics
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Matt Bevin Fails to Receive Boone County GOP Nod

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit foxnews.com

Despite U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin's pleas for members to vote their "conscience" the Republican Party of Boone County, Ky. bypassed endorsing the political newcomer over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's primary.

Bevin supporters had been hopeful the Northern Kentucky group would give his campaign a needed boost in an area that is considered a Tea Party stronghold.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton also attended the meeting and warned members that weighing in would be a "poor mistake" as a county party.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Hurting Mitch McConnell's Approval Rating as Matt Bevin Seeks Key Endorsement

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is taking a dive due to the government shutdown, according to a new Gallup survey released Thursday.

The new figures comes as McConnell's GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin is vying to gain the support of a key political organization in Northern Kentucky this week.

Overall, Gallup finds McConnell's net approvals are down by 12 percentage points since Congress failed pass a spending bill to keep federal services and programs running.

From Gallup:

The Republican congressional leaders, Boehner and McConnell, appear to have taken a slightly larger hit from the shutdown than the Democratic congressional leaders Reid and Pelosi, as well as President Obama, given slightly larger declines in the Republicans' net favorables.

(SNIP)

Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but both groups now view Republican leaders Boehner and McConnell significantly more negatively than before the shutdown. Their net favorable ratings have declined between 13 and 19 points among the party groups.

Save House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, all of the major leaders in Washington are suffering from poor approval ratings as the shutdown continues.

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Mitch McConnell Renews Crusade Against Campaign Gift Limits in 'Citizens United II' Case

Credit File photo

Attorneys representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will make oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week to scrap another set of limits on how much individuals can donate to political campaigns.

It is a case that could have serious ramifications on U.S. elections and possibly increase the amount of money spent on federal races in a way the controversial Citizens United decision did.

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Politics
10:57 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Say Kentucky Not Buying Obamacare

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (l) and Rand Paul (r)
Credit U.S. Senate

In a rebuttal to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's editorial praising the Affordable Care Act, Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul argue Kentucky isn't buying into the president's health care law.

The health exchange dubbed Kynect launched on Tuesday allowing residents to shop for an insurance plan as part of the federal law, better known as Obamacare.

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Politics
9:59 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Mitch McConnell: 'Americans Don't Want a Government Shutdown and They Don't Want Obamacare'

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Hours away from a government shutdown, the Democratic-controlled Senate once again rejected a House Republican spending plan that seeks to delay the president's health care law.

The party line 54-46 vote continues the back-and-forth between the two chambers with less than three hours before the midnight deadline.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also repeated his statement blaming Senate Democrats as a partial shutdown appeared inevitable.

From McConnell's office:

"Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want Obamacare. But Senate Democrats have once again blocked a House-passed bill to keep the government open while protecting Americans from the consequences of Obamacare.

The fact that the President is unilaterally granting waivers to some Americans but not others shows that even he doesn’t think Obamacare is ready for primetime. There is bipartisan support for providing the same treatment to individuals and families that the White House has already given employers.

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Politics
12:36 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Says Mitch McConnell is 'Missing in Action' on Shutdown Negotiations

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Calling the looming government shutdown a "reckless Republican" strategy, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is accusing incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of watching from the sidelines.

The budget impasse in Washington is expected to continue when the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects a House measure this afternoon.

If a deal isn't reached the federal government will close on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.

At issue is implementation of President Obama's health care law, which Republican want to delay for one year. But that is considered a non-starter in the Senate and for the Obama administration.

In the meantime, the Grimes campaign is going on the offensive against McConnell by highlighting how a shutdown would impact Kentucky.

The news release points out a shutdown would close centers for 16,000 children who attend Head Start, delay payments for U.S. military service members and furlough 25,000 federal employees in the state.

Grimes says McConnell needs to be more involved in the negotiations while reminding supporters about the GOP leadership's split with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

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Politics
2:40 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Praises House 'Compromise' Bill as Shutdown Appears Imminent

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit File photo

With less than 36-hours until a shutdown, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says a late night vote by the House has presented Democrats with a way to keep the federal government running.

The new proposal is being pitched by Republican leaders as a compromise, but it still links financing the government to the president's health care law.

Shortly after midnight, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill to keep funding the government through December 15.

The measure also delays the Affordable Care Act by one year and repeals a tax on medical devices in the law, which is considered a non-starter in the Democratic-controlled Senate and in the face of President Obama's veto pen.

McConnell says the House has put the ball in the Senate's court and the American people do not want a shutdown, but don't want Obamacare either.

From McConnell's office:

"While some in the Senate Democrat leadership may think employers should get preferential treatment over individuals and families, and that repealing Obamacare's medical device tax is 'stupid,' many other Democrats have made it clear they disagree. They should be allowed to vote to protect the thousands of good American jobs the medical device tax threatens to destroy and to give the same treatment to individuals and families that the White House has already given employers. The choice for Democrat leaders is clear: either shut down the government, or listen to the American people and act."

Democrats have poked holes in this latest move, however, calling it "smoke in mirrors" given that it once again puts funding for the president's health care law.

As observers have noted, with Obamacare's implementation set to roll out on Oct. 1 it is unlikely the president will gut his signature achievement.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Matt Bevin Praises Ted Cruz, Slams Mitch McConnell on Defunding Obamacare Fight

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin joins a rally by Tea Party activists outside Mitch McConnell's office
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

A group of Tea Party and conservative activists rallied outside of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s Louisville office, calling for the defunding of the president’s health care law.

Joined by U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin, over a dozen demonstrators spoke in support of Republican Ted Cruz of Texas, who held a nearly 24-hour marathon talk on the Senate floor to oppose the Affordable Care Act.

But McConnell disagreed with Cruz's tactic to block a federal spending bill that takes out funding Obamacare in order to keep Senate Democrats from amending the measure.

Instead, McConnell supports having a majority vote to defund the health care law while pressuring Democrats to join the GOP caucus.

Saying the GOP establishment needs to do more those rallying in downtown Louisville took McConnell's leadership to task, however.

"I can’t understand why Mitch McConnell won’t wake up and realize that (Obama) is trying to destroy us and destroy Kentucky. He’s the mouthpiece that not only we have but he represents the Republican Party in all of the United States right now," says Dan Johnson, a bishop at Heart of Fire Church in Louisville. "And if he don’t get off of his butt and get up and do what’s right, if he has any heart for the American people he will not fund Obamcare. It's time to defund Obamacare, it's time America is heard and this needs to end today."

The tactical disagreement in the GOP has been a divisive fight that was brought more to the surface by Cruz, who implicitly criticized leaders in both parties for not heeding the public's apprehensions about the health care law.

McConnell is maintaining Republican senators are united against funding the health care law, and would much rather talk about the Democrats.

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Politics
12:34 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Urging Senate Democrats to Join Defund Obamacare Fight, McConnell Rejects Cruz's Plan

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell cut ties with Sen. Ted Cruz's threat to use a filibuster against a bill with language defunding the president's health care law.

Facing increasing criticism from conservative groups and a primary opponent, McConnell argued Senate Democrats need to join the effort in order to take out funding for Obamacare while avoiding a government shutdown.

"I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare," McConnell said. "All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded. And none of us want that."

The House passed a spending measure to fund the federal government past Oct. 1, but it does not pay for the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz is urging the GOP caucus to vote against that legislation because Democrats have indicated they will amend it to restore the health care law's funding. He argues any vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor is in effective supporting Obamacare as a whole.

Rather than focus on GOP infighting, McConnell proposed Democrats ought to join the effort to defund the law by having a simple majority vote on the House bill.

"Democrats have been hearing the same complaints about Obamacare the rest of us have. The spotlight should really be on them. This is a rare opportunity to defund the law with a simple majority. We should have that vote," he said.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

'Coal Country' State Democrats Defend Alison Lundergan Grimes from GOP Attacks

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Democratic state lawmakers representing Eastern Kentucky are coming to the defense of U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, saying Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell has failed the coal industry.

The comments come as Grimes is being pilloried by Republicans after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked a bill McConnell proposed to ease federal regulations on coal operators.

An industry leader questioned if Grimes could stand up to Reid or the Obama administration.

But state representatives from coalfield areas in the state argue it's McConnell who hasn't done enough to help the struggling industry.

From the Grimes campaign:

"You will not find a stronger advocate than I am for our coal miners and the communities they call home," says state Rep. Leslie Combs, who represents parts of Harlan, Letcher, and Pike Counties. "Mitch McConnell has been in Washington for 30 years, yet he has let Kentucky's greatest industry die on his watch. He likes to tout his leadership in the Senate and on coal. If Senator McConnell has been such a powerful leader on coal, the industry would be thriving and not dying. It's time to put partisanship and rhetoric aside to work together to put Kentuckians back to work."

Other lawmakers such as state House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins and Rep. John Short spoke to Grimes's ability to "reach across the aisle."

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