Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

1:37 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

McConnell, Paul Want Holder to Appoint Special Prosecutor Regarding Leak Investigation

Joining a chorus of Republican lawmakers, Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are requesting Attorney General Eric Holder immediately appoint a special prosecutor to investigate a series of national security leaks.

Last week, Holder announced two U.S. attorneys would lead the criminal investigation into possible leaks that some GOP lawmakers have alleged originated in the White House. But President Obama has vehemently denied his administration revealed information about the president's terrorist "kill lists" and cyber-attacks against Iran's nuclear program.

Over 30 GOP Senators have signed a letter asking the attorney general to assign a special counsel who would be "free from the appearance of politics or undue influence," to investigate. The circulated letter has the signature of many high-profiled lawmakers including Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.

From the letter:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

The numerous national security leaks reportedly originating out of the Executive Branch in recent months have been stunning.  If true, they reveal details of some of our Nation’s most highly classified and sensitive military and intelligence matters, thereby risking our national security, as well as the lives of American citizens and our allies. If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it.

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12:48 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Yarmuth, McConnell React to Supreme Court’s Montana Decision

The Supreme Court strengthened its Citizens United case Monday when it struck down a 100-year-old Montana ban on corporate spending in state and local elections.

In a summary reversal that had no oral arguments, justices ruled 5-to-4 against the state along the same lines it did for the controversial 2010 decision that allows for unlimited spending by companies and unions in federal campaigns.

Locally, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., have sat on opposite sides of this debate.

McConnell issued a statement praising the high court's ruling as a victory for the First Amendment and exaggerated claims of corporate control.

In another important victory for freedom of speech, the Supreme Court has reversed the Montana Supreme Court, upholding First Amendment free speech rights that were set out in Citizens United. As I pointed out in an amicus brief that I filed in the Montana case, a review of Federal Election Commission records of independent spending supporting the eight Republican presidential candidates earlier this year showed only minimal corporate involvement in the 2012 election cycle.

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1:49 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

WV Senator Votes Against Anti-EPA Resolution, KY Senators Don't Follow Suit

In an unexpected move, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller addressed the Senate today to speak against a resolution that would register objection to the Environmental Protection Agency's upcoming restrictions on mercury emissions from power plants.

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10:29 am
Wed June 20, 2012

McConnell Speaks on Senate Floor On EPA Regulations, Big Sandy Power Plant

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the Senate this morning on the Environmental Protection Agency's Utility MACT (or Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule, which would require power plants to control emissions of mercury and other toxic substances. McConnell's press office's Twitter feed offered a preview of his remarks:

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5:27 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Waiting on Romney, McConnell Balks at Obama's Immigration Decision

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is waiting on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take the lead on President Obama's decision to stop deporting the children of illegal immigrants.

McConnell is one of the president's strongest and quickest critics, but the GOP leader is being unusually quiet until Romney makes his position clear. He says members of his caucus are "withholding judgment" until the former Massachusetts governor takes the lead.

From The Washington Post:

“I think we’re going to wait and see what governor Romney has to say, and we’re going to be discussing his views on this,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday. “I think many of us may have similar views. Others may not.”

McConnell said he was deferring to Romney because the former Massachusetts governor is “the leader of our party from now until November — and, we hope, beyond.”

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4:01 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Yarmuth: McConnell is Endorsing Dishonest Campaigns

In a House floor speech Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for opposing legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of their contributors.

Last Friday, McConnell told a conservative think tank that keeping donors names a secret is a First Amendment right, but Yarmuth says anonymity allows individuals to distort the truth without being held accountable by the voters.

Check it out:

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10:59 am
Tue June 19, 2012

McConnell Being Scolded for Opposing Disclose Act

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being scolded for flip-flopping on campaign disclosures after his denunciation of legislation requiring that Super PAC donors provide their names.

Speaking before the American Enterprise Institute last week, McConnell argued that contributors to third party organization have a right to remain secret and that the Disclose Act is threatening their free speech. But local and national critics point out that wasn't McConnell's position a few years ago when he was at the forefront of opposing campaign finance reform.

"Money is essential in politics, and not something that we should feel squeamish about, provided the donations are limited and disclosed, everyone knows who's supporting everyone else," McConnell told NPR's Talk of the Nation in 2003.

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3:10 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

McConnell: Obama, Disclose Act Threaten First Amendment

File photo

In a fiercely worded speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused President Obama of violating citizen's First Amendment rights and denounced legislation that would require Super PACs to disclose the names of contributors.

The conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute hosted McConnell on Friday, where he addressed First Amendment rights in light of the Supreme Court’s much argued Citizens United case. The decision rejects spending limits in federal elections for companies and unions.

McConnell has been supportive of the controversial 5-to-4 ruling  and has urged the justices to reaffirm the decision in the face of a pending legal challenge.

Democrats have pushed the Disclose Act in response to the ruling that would mandate third party groups reveal who donated to pay for election ads, but the measure has failed to move forward in Congress.

McConnell says the measure amounts to harassment and an attempt to intimidate conservative donors and organizations.

"What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit," he says. "Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon…This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation."

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1:29 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

McConnell: Obama Running Out of Economic Ideas

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is pleading with President Obama to deliver new ideas on the sluggish economic recovery.

The president is scheduled to deliver a major economic address Thursday, which will be the first of the general election campaign and in the swing state of Ohio.

But observers expect Mr. Obama won't offer any new jobs proposals and instead continue to push lawmakers to pass his "to-do" list.

McConnell says Democrats are getting anxious about economic stagnation and the nearing election.

"We can expect more of the same: more government, more debt and higher taxes to pay for it all," he said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "Now, according to the news reports, some Democrats are starting to get a little wary of this approach. A number of folks who worked in the Clinton Administration have suggested something more positive. But others are pleading with the president to double down on the message that government is the answer."

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6:42 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

McConnell Pounces Obama 'Doing Fine' Gaffe

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released the following statement tearing into President Obama for claiming that the private sector is "doing fine" during a press conference to address economic concerns.

From McConnell's office:

“Whether the President wants to acknowledge it or not, we are now living in the Obama Economy, and no ‘post-it note’ proposal can reverse the damage done by his policies over the past three and a half years. It’s baffling that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, this President still believes that spending money we don’t have to inflate the government is the answer to America’s economic problems.

The economy would respond much more favorably to providing the tax certainty Americans deserve by extending all the tax rates and assuring employers they do not have to budget for the largest tax increase in American history next year. The Obama Economy is even slower now than when we extended the rates in 2010—raising taxes on job creators in this slow economy is simply not the elixir for his failed policies.”

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