Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

8:30 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Poll Shows McConnell, Paul With Majority Approval Ratings

A majority of Kentucky voters approve of the jobs that Republican U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are doing in Washington, according to a new Bluegrass Poll.

The poll shows McConnell, who is running for re-election in two years, holding a 51 percent job approval rating among likely voters with 42 percent disapproving of the GOP leader's performance. Similarly, Paul has a 53 percent approval but a slightly lower disapproval rating at 38 percent almost two years after being elected.

As The Courier-Journal's James Carroll reports, political observers argue that this bodes well for both lawmakers when considering the historic low numbers for Congress overall.

From The Courier-J:

The poll numbers for McConnell and Paul indicate no potential re-election problems, said Jennifer Duffy, a Senate analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

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10:40 am
Wed September 12, 2012

McConnell Condemns Killing of U.S. Diplomats in Libya

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Libya that resulted in the murder of four American diplomats, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The consulate in Benghazi was bombarded by a group of protestors who were furious over an amateur film released via YouTube that mocked Muhammad, Islam's founding prophet. According to reports, Stevens was leaving the building for a safer location when gunmen launched an attack.

From McConnell's office:

"These attacks remind us of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by foreign service officers, diplomatic security personnel, and our Marine Security Guards.

I join my colleagues in strongly condemning the murder of these innocent Americans. And I support employing every available tool at our disposal to ensure the safety of Americans overseas and to hunt down those responsible for these attacks.

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12:25 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Area Leaders Mark Low-Key Anniversary of September 11

Several area leaders are marking the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, but overall the commemorations are taking a less political tone than in year's past.

In Washington, D.C., congressional Democrats and Republicans plan to stand outside the Capitol for a moment of silence in an act of bipartisanship. At ground zero in New York City, the family members of the victims are reading their loved ones names, but no elected officials were included in the ceremony.

In a statement, Congressman John Yarmuth says Americans should seek to learn that facing the country's problems requires a transcendence of politics.

From Yarmuth's office:

"Eleven years ago, terrorists attacked our nation and killed thousands of our fellow Americans. Today, we remember their lives. We grieve with their families and loved ones. And we reflect on the national unity that arose from the ruin of that calamitous day, reminded of our shared purpose: to keep our country safe and to preserve the values that shape our national character.

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9:55 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Tax Fairness Group Targets McConnell

Bend the Arc

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being targeted by a progressive group urging lawmakers to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for those earning more than $250,000 annually.

The ‘If I Were a Rich Man Tour’ is a national effort that will make a stop in Louisville on Monday to pressure the GOP leader to back President Obama’s proposal to end the tax breaks for wealthier Americans. Under Mr. Obama's plan, all Americans would keep their current tax rates for the first quarter of a million dollars they earn.

But Republicans have opposed the idea, arguing that it will be a tax increase on job creators and further slow the economic recovery.

Tera Greene is a group volunteer with the tour. She says McConnell is being focused on because he is one of the wealthiest lawmakers to oppose the proposal.

"We’re asking why they continue to vote to line their own pockets instead of defending the best interest of their constituents," he says.

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11:31 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Norquist Previews McConnell Majority Leader Role

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist predicts Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will use the same tactics that the GOP criticized Democrats for using if he is elevated to majority leader.

McConnell needs either three of four Republican victories this fall depending on the outcome of the presidential race and even with the Todd Akin controversy there's still a "50-50" shot, he believes.

Norquist provides a teaser that could lead to procedural reforms.

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5:05 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Despite Akin Controversy, McConnell Says GOP Chances at Senate Majority Are "50-50"

Kenny Colston Kentucky Public Radio

A recent controversy over a Missouri Senate candidate’s comments on rape has not diminished U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s outlook for November.

McConnell is hoping to become majority leader next year. Depending on who wins the presidency, he needs either three of four GOP Senate victories this fall to do so. He recently asked Republican Congressman Todd Akin to drop out of his race to give Republicans a better chance in Missouri, but Akin declined.

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1:30 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Repeal and Replace: Some Health Care Reforms Senators Paul and McConnell Like

McConnell and Paul
Kenny Colston Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's two U.S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act.

The two co-headlined a Tea Party rally in Frankfort yesterday to protest the health care law. During the rally, Paul said he wants to not only repeal the law, but replace it with a different one. Other Republicans have taken a similar stance, but the details behind the Republicans' preferred approach are largely unknown.

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3:33 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

At Rally, Paul Says Republicans Will Replace Health Care Law With 'Health Care for Everyone'

Kenny Colston Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators say they both want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but wouldn’t elaborate on reforms to replace the measure. The senators headlined a Tea Party rally held today in Frankfort.

With about 300 people in attendance, this was Senator Mitch McConnell’s biggest Tea Party event to date, and his message wasn’t a surprise. Both he and Senator Rand Paul rallied the crowd around the idea of repealing the federal health care law, which they call "Obamacare."

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4:31 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Kentucky Republicans Land Big Roles at National Convention

Kentucky Republicans are getting high-profile positions at next week's national convention in Tampa, Florida while their Democratic counterparts are either skipping their party's convention or have not been offered speaking slots.

The event is set to begin August 27, and RNC organizers announced Monday that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is delivering his keynote speech in prime time on the first day of convention. Paul is scheduled to speak around 7:45 p.m.

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2:53 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

McConnell: Akin Should Reconsider Candidacy In Light of Rape Comments

File photo

Calling the comments "inexcusable" Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is urging Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to reconsidering his bid.

Over the weekend, Congressman Akin was asked if he would support abortion in the case of women who have been raped. Akin said: "It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare...If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

He apologized Monday for the controversial remarks and rejected calls to drop out of the race, but GOP leaders have said the Missouri lawmaker should think twice.

WFPL requested a comment from McConnell, and received the following statement.

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