Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Environment
4:30 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

McConnell to Introduce 'Coal Jobs Protection Act'

U.S. Senate

U.S. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to announce a bill to put limits on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of coal mining.

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Politics
2:01 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

National Democratic Groups Increasing Attacks on McConnell

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Democratic groups are increasing the pressure on Senator Mitch McConnell as he gears up for next year's re-election campaign, launching attacks that focus on McConnell's recent actions in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate Majority PAC, run by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has created a website called “Beltway Mitch,” targeting McConnell for his refusal to compromise on sequestration, and the effects of sequestration on school districts in Kentucky.

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Politics
12:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Poll: McConnell in Close Races With Potential Opponents

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

A new poll shows Sen. Mitch McConnell with a precarious lead over potential Democratic challengers.

The survey from Public Policy Polling shows McConnell with a four point lead over Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes—45 to 41—and a five point lead over former Congressman Ben Chandler.

Despite the leads, McConnell polls below the 50 percent mark in both races. And it shows he only has an 11 point lead over contractor Ed Marksberry, 46 to 35. 

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Politics
2:47 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Praise General Assembly for Approving Hemp Legislation

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are lauding the Kentucky General Assembly for passing legislation to allow a regulatory framework for industrial hemp.

The so-called hemp bill was approved by state lawmakers on the last day of the legislative session, and allows licensing of future hemp farmers to the Industrial Hemp Commission should the federal government legalize the crop.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer led the initiative, and told Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston state officials are working with the federal delegation to get a federal waiver.

McConnell and Paul both said Wednesday they will work to get the crop legalized for Kentucky farmers to grow.

From McConnell's office:

I applaud Commissioner James Comer for his leadership on the issue and the Kentucky General Assembly for passing the legislation which has the potential to provide an economic boost to Kentucky, create jobs and allow Kentucky farmers to harness the economic potential that industrial hemp can provide. 

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Politics
5:00 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Congressman Thomas Massie Advises Tea Party Critics to Lay Off Senator Mitch McConnell

Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is advising Tea Party activists to think twice before waging a primary challenge to Senator Mitch McConnell next year.

The freshman lawmaker was heavily backed by the Tea Party in his race for the Fourth Congressional District seat last year. 

Massie is often mentioned as a potential 2014 Senate candidate, and has flexed a level of independence from the GOP establishment. He voted against Speaker John Boehner and recently opposed the Ryan budget plan because it wasn't conservative enough.

But Massie has repeatedly turned down offers to run and told reporters on multiple occasions he isn’t interested.

And in an interview with WFPL, he says Tea Party activists in Kentucky who want to continue to have an impact on national politics should reconsider their opposition to McConnell.

"My advice to people who are frustrated with Washington is that there’s probably a better way to spend your time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears than trying to have Senator McConnell unelected. I think there are a lot better chances and better use of your time in terms of changing Washington, D.C.," he says.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth Calls for Senator Mitch McConnell to End Brinksmanship on Sequestration

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is calling on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to end the brinksmanship, and work with President Obama and Democrats to end the automatic spending cuts.

In Kentucky, the so-called sequestration is expected to have the biggest impact on nutrition and education programs as well as enforcing environmental regulations.

For example, a White House study estimates the cuts will take about 1,100 children off of Head Start in Kentucky. The state is also set to lose $2.1 million for water and air quality protections.

Beyond those cuts, opponents argue the sequester could drag down the economic recovery and hurt job growth.

Yarmuth criticized McConnell for calling the proposed cuts "modest" and says the GOP leader needs to take responsibility  or his role in the failed negotiations.

"I don’t think that the people of Kentucky or the country appreciate what the sequester is going to do for them. I would hope Sen. McConnell would reconsider and provide some leadership here instead of playing politics once again," Yarmuth said during a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Opposing Obama's CIA Nomination, Mitch McConnell Says Rand Paul Deserves Answer on Drones

Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is praising his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster, and is now opposing President Obama's nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency.

Paul held up the confirmation of John Brennan for CIA director using an old-school filibuster. He continually asked for the administration to promise they will not use armed unmanned aircrafts to kill American citizens on U.S. soil.

In a letter sent Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul the administration had "no intention" to use drones on suspected terrorists in the U.S., but could do so in "extraordinary circumstances."

As the filibuster gained national attention and bipartisan support, McConnell and a number of GOP senators joined Paul's effort last night.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell says the White House has a responsibility to answer Paul’s questions  before the nomination goes forward.

"The United States military no more has the right to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil who is not a combatant with an armed unmanned aerial vehicle than it does with an M-16. The technology is beside the point. It simply doesn’t have that right and the administration should simply answer the question," he says.

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Politics
2:25 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Most Democratic Kentucky State Senators Lukewarm on Ashley Judd Candidacy

Ashley Judd
Credit U.S. Navy

Kentucky state Senate Democrats are largely lukewarm about the potential for actress and activist Ashley Judd entering the 2014 race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Politics
12:17 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Mitch McConnell Honors Rosa Parks at Capitol Ceremony

In a dedication featuring President Obama and congressional leaders, civil rights icon Rosa Parks became the first African-American woman to have a statue in the U.S. Capitol.

The 9-foot bronze statue of Parks, who died in 2005, was unveiled Wednesday in Statuary Hall. It honors the "first lady" of the Civil Rights Movement, who became an international figure for freedom and social justice for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Al. bus in 1955.

Speaking at the ceremony, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says Parks's legacy lives on and she served as an inspiration to stand up against injustice.

Watch:

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Politics
10:29 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Gun Control Group Continues Ad Campaign Against Mitch McConnell

Credit U.S. Senate

Progressive Change Campaign Committee has launched a new ad criticizing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell over proposed gun control measures.

This is the second spot by the group to target McConnell, and like the previous ad it features a Kentucky gun owner and military veteran who supports a ban on assault weapons.

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