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October 4, 2015

Posts in "Mitch McConnell"

September 30, 2015

Senate Sends House Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

UNITED STATES - September 29: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens to a question during a news conference following the weekly Senate Democrats' policy lunch in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell is poised to deliver on his “no shutdown” promise. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

For a government funding vote that lagged until fiscal New Year’s Eve, this one was a snoozer.

Senators voted 78-20 to send to the House a measure that would keep the discretionary spigot open through Dec. 11, with the hope that Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill will be able to cut a budget deal with the White House. Full story

September 29, 2015

Deal-Hungry Senate Eager for Boehner’s Halloween Treats (Video)

UNITED STATES - September 22: Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., smiles as he jokingly addresses that it will only be himself and Assistant Minority Leader, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., at the weekly Senate Democrat news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Reid wants a budget deal with Boehner. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senators from both parties want outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner, no longer handcuffed by hardliners in his conference, to send over as many treats as he can — with a minimum of tricks — before retiring around Halloween.

Four days after Boehner’s announcement he’ll step down next month, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was touting Tuesday the prospects for a two-year top-line budget deal — and Reid’s wish list for Boehner’s promised “barn cleaning” includes an increase in the federal debt limit.

Full story

Mitch McConnell Is No John Boehner

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to bow to the outside calls for his resignation. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/File Photo)

McConnell is now the target of ire on the right. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/File Photo)

Despite the anti-Mitch McConnell chatter on talk radio and elsewhere, don’t look for the Senate majority leader to fold like John A. Boehner — at least not for the foreseeable future. The Kentucky Republican is holding quite a few more cards than his counterpart in the House.

The calls for McConnell to step down have come hard and fast since Boehner, R-Ohio, announced last week his own intentions to lay down his gavel.

Full story

September 28, 2015

Senate Acts to Avert Shutdown, More Funding Votes to Come

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has so far made good on his assertion that the government will not shutdown (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell has so far made good on his assertion that the government will not shut down. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate moved one step closer Monday night to keeping the government from temporarily shutting down by clearing a procedural hurdle, 77-19.

Monday’s action sets up a vote for final passage sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, absent a time agreement. But legislators need to act fast to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year. Full story

September 25, 2015

Boehner Exit Puts More Pressure on McConnell (Video)

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, participate in the ceremony to sign H.R.203, the "Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act." in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell and Boehner have been longtime partners across the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Grace under pressure. Country and institution before self,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday, describing his impressions of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

McConnell will need plenty of that himself in the weeks and months ahead. With Boehner announcing his plan to resign at the end of October, the Kentucky Republican will be the focus of conservative criticism of Republicans in Washington.

Full story

September 22, 2015

Collins Warns House Against Amending a Clean CR

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Collins says there won’t be time for the House to amend a clean CR. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Susan Collins does not want the House meddling with a clean stopgap spending bill that the Senate will inevitably need to pass.

Officially, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t announced the plan for when Democrats filibuster the continuing resolution that also blocks funding for Planned Parenthood, but there will be just a few days to advance a bill that President Barack Obama might actually sign into law to avoid a government shutdown.

And Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday after the weekly conference lunch that Republicans across the Rotunda should see the writing on the wall.

Full story

McConnell Makes First Move as Government Shutdown Deadline Nears

Reid and McConnell Democratic agenda

McConnell and Reid will need to work together if the Senate’s going to advance a clean continuing resolution. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s going first in the debate over how to fund the government past Sept. 30, just eight days from now.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid down a continuing resolution Tuesday that will continue government funding through Dec. 11, but the measure has no chance of advancing as is because it includes a rider that would direct funding away from Planned Parenthood for a year.

Full story

September 21, 2015

Abortion Vote a Prelude to Senate’s Shutdown Watch

UNITED STATES - September 8: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a luncheon as he strengthens his opposition against the Iran nuclear agreement at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, September 8, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Graham is the lead Senate sponsor of the 20-week abortion ban. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will start its week debating abortion, but it’s far from certain Tuesday’s symbolic vote will diffuse the tension over Planned Parenthood funding enough to avert a government shutdown.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is following through on a promise made to social conservatives to line up a vote on a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, a measure that’s spearheaded in the Senate by presidential candidate Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Full story

September 18, 2015

McConnell Faces More Calls for ‘Nuclear Option’ in Senate

UNITED STATES - MARCH 6: Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, R-Texas, makes his case for funding of his committee during the House Administration Committee hearing on "Committee Funding for the 113th Congress" on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith and other House Republicans are pressuring McConnell to change Senate rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s repeated ill-fated efforts to break filibusters of legislation to reject or impose conditions on the Iran deal have had an unusual side effect.

House Republicans, sick of being blamed for the gridlock in Congress and tired of passing bills that never get to President Barack Obama’s desk, have begun to direct their ire onto an unusual target: the Kentucky Republican.

Full story

September 10, 2015

Senate Locks-In Iran Deal Vote

Reid said Thursday that the cloture vote on Iran disapproval should be seen as the final vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Reid said Thursday the cloture vote on Iran disapproval should be seen as the final vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s reached an agreement to hold a key procedural vote on disapproving of the Iran deal Thursday afternoon.

After dueling objections over vote thresholds for a final passage vote on the resolution that would disapprove of the international agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear development, senators agreed to move up a debate-limiting cloture vote to 3:45 p.m.

Full story

August 31, 2015

McConnell Expects to Cut Budget Deal, Avert Shutdown (Video)

Immigration reform is dead in this Congress, per McConnell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell expects government-funding talks with the administration will begin after Labor Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that funding the government is the top challenge facing him when he returns to the Capitol next week.

The Kentucky Republican said he would work with the White House to come up with budget levels to keep the government open past Sept. 30, conceding that President Barack Obama won’t sign a measure with a rider defunding Planned Parenthood.

Full story

August 17, 2015

McConnell Praises Efforts to Fight Heroin Epidemic

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell is praising new funds to fight heroin abuse in Kentucky and elsewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is starting the week with praise for the White House’s drug czar.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy on Monday formally announced that it would be providing $2.5 million in funding for a new Heroin Response strategy to fight opioid abuse in five identified High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, including Appalachia.

Full story

August 7, 2015

Ted Cruz Won’t Rule Out Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

The Texas senator struck a different tone than his party's leader on Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Texas senator struck a different tone than his party’s leader Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mitch McConnell may be ruling out a government shutdown at the end of September, but Sen. Ted Cruz certainly is not.

“The last government shutdown occurred because Barack Obama and Harry Reid took an extreme position and they were unwilling to compromise and negotiate,” the Texas Republican said of the 2013 budget standoff. “So, I cannot give any guarantee as to whether the Obama administration will once again play partisan political games. For six-and-a-half years, that has been their pattern. So, no one would be surprised to see them go down that road again.”

Cruz was in suburban Charleston to kick off a 2016 presidential campaign bus tour that will see him hit seven states in seven days throughout the South, following Thursday night’s GOP debate in Cleveland. Full story

August 6, 2015

Senate Is Working Again Despite Ted Cruz and Co., McConnell Says (Video)

McConnell touted productivity of his Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell touted the productivity of his Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the new Senate under his leadership Thursday — one with far more productivity and votes than under his predecessor — and he isn’t about to let Ted Cruz, or anyone else, derail it.

“For any of our members, there are a lot of procedural tools available to slow things down, and they’ve been used frequently and we worked our way through every one of them,” McConnell said when asked about Cruz talking up efforts to hold up federal funding and the debt limit. Full story

August 4, 2015

McConnell Says No Shutdowns as September Agenda Takes Shape (Video)

McConnell says there won't be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell says there won’t be any shutdowns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats are warning a new shutdown showdown looms in September, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated there wouldn’t be any government shutdowns on his watch.

“Let me say it again: no more government shutdowns,” the Kentucky Republican said, when asked how he intended to adhere to his pledge made numerous times. “We have divided government. … At some point we’ll negotiate the way forward.”

Full story

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