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February 14, 2016

Posts in "Mitch McConnell"

February 5, 2016

Marlow Cook: Mitch McConnell’s Political Pathfinder


Cook, who was elected in 1968, provided the electoral template for McConnell's path to the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cook, who was elected in 1968, provided the electoral template for McConnell’s path to the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shortly after he got the news that former Sen. Marlow Cook, R-Ky., had died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the floor about the man who showed him the political blueprint to success in Washington.

“Marlow Cook gave me my first real opportunity in politics, gave me a chance to be a state youth chairman in his successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1968,” McConnell said. “He also gave me an important opportunity in government. He won his election, and I came to Washington with him, and I was what they called the chief legislative assistant. I think the term we use now is legislative director.”

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January 20, 2016

McConnell Counts Down Days Until Obama Leaves


Perhaps no one has a more expansive view of how the First Amendment protects campaign speech and donations than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

So it’s no surprise that the Kentucky Republican would respond to news that President Barack Obama is mulling an executive action on campaign expenditures by reminding reporters that since it is Jan. 20, “a year from today he will be gone.”

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December 18, 2015

Senate Leaders Look Ahead to 2016


McConnell, left, and Reid, right, claimed victory in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell, left, and Reid, right, claimed victory in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate leaders spent Friday afternoon claiming victory on the spending and tax bills that passed before lawmakers left town, and said they are now looking to highlight differences between the two parties heading into the election year.

Democrats and Republicans held back-to-back news conferences after the final votes of the year, each saying the Senate is functioning again, and they’re the reason why.

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Senate Republicans Tout Victories in New Video


Republicans tout accomplishments in new video. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans tout accomplishments in new video. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republicans are taking a victory lap as 2015 comes to a close, highlighting their accomplishments in a new video.

The video, titled “A New Approach,” was released by the Senate Republican Conference Friday morning and features more than a dozen senators listing a number of accomplishments from the past year.

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December 17, 2015

Reid: ‘Mitch McConnell and I Are Friends’


Reid, left, and McConnell, right, reaffirmed their friendship on the Senate floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reid, left, and McConnell reaffirmed their friendship on the Senate floor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s top two leaders took to the floor Thursday morning to affirm their friendship.

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gave his opening speech on the Senate floor on the year-end spending and tax package, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sought to clear the air after Politico reported that the relationship between the two leaders had reached a “new low.”

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Senate Clinches Deal to Finish Omnibus on Friday


GOP Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has the lowest vote participation rate of any senator in 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio had hinted at a slow down of the omnibus, but it won’t take place. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

No level of consternation about the big omnibus spending and budget deal will interfere with this year’s Christmas getaway.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced an agreement that will allow the Senate to quickly call up and pass the combined measure after the House finishes work Friday — without a weekend session.

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December 14, 2015

Heading Into Endgame, McConnell Declares ‘Dysfunction is Over’


McConnell said next year he will devote floor time to appropriations bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell said next year he will devote floor time to appropriations bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

He may be fond of saying there’s no education in the second kick of a mule, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting another run at a functioning appropriations process in 2016.

Despite Congress blowing past multiple deadlines to finalize funding the government for the year, the Kentucky Republican said holding more than 200 amendment votes and adopting a budget resolution were successes, though he acknowledged there’s plenty of work left to do before Christmas.

Though President Barack Obama signed a short-term funding resolution to keep the government open until Dec. 16, tough negotiations remain in getting a year-end deal.

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December 11, 2015

Mitch McConnell: New War Authorization Not Happening Anytime Soon


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks with reporters in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell doesn’t seem inclined to bring an AUMF to the floor.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has dismissed President Barack Obama’s call for new authority to use force to combat the Islamic State.

“I don’t think so,” the Kentucky Republican told Roll Call when asked about the prospects for a Senate debate on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force in the first half of 2016.

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December 8, 2015

GOP Elders Critical of Trump’s Muslim Comments


UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 8 - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks back to his office after the weekly Senate Republicans luncheon news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell walks back to his office after the weekly Senate Republican luncheon news conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not wait to be asked about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to exclude Muslims from entering the United States.

Before turning to the upcoming passage of an education overhaul and end-of-the-year business, the Kentucky Republican on Tuesday said the proposal  was “completely and totally inconsistent with American values.”

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November 9, 2015

Ties to Coats Bind Top Leadership Staffers in Congress


McConnell walks with Soderstrom. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell walks with Soderstrom. (Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dan Coats wishes he had been able to do more with the all-star staff he assembled more than two decades ago, given the sphere of influence two of them now occupy in the top echelons of Congress.

The Indiana Republican’s staff leader in the early ’90s was Dave Hoppe, who just returned to the Capitol as chief of staff to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. Hoppe in turn hired Sharon Soderstrom for Coats’ team. She’s now chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

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November 5, 2015

McCain: White House Win ‘Extremely Difficult’ Without Immigration Action


john mccain

Both of Arizona’s Republican senators support an immigration overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s comments about immigration Sunday, the top two Republicans in Congress have now declared dead the prospects of an overhaul before the 2016 elections.

In the aftermath of 2012, when Latinos made up 10 percent of the electorate and President Barack Obama was re-elected resoundingly, Republican lawmakers and strategists predicted the GOP’s White House ambitions were directly tied to the passage of comprehensive immigration legislation. Many of those voices haven’t changed their tune. Full story

November 1, 2015

Speaker Ryan’s Greatest Hurdle: Congressional Math


Paul Ryan

Ryan should have no problem dealing with Senate Republicans, but problems still remain. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

It’s well-documented that Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s success depends on his ability to work with the Republican Conference’s right flank, but that’s just the half.

For any legislation to advance to the president’s desk, the Wisconsin Republican must also find common ground with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It’s not as much a personality issue as it is congressional math, and that means balancing the desires of conservative hardliners with McConnell’s reality of needing at least six Democratic votes to clear anything for the president’s signature. Full story

October 29, 2015

Roberts, McConnell Announce Crop Insurance Fix


UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., listens to testimony during the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing on child nutrition programs on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roberts joined GOP leaders on the floor to discuss crop insurance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:57 p.m. | Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has assurances from his leadership to reverse crop insurance cutbacks in the budget and debt limit deal that’s currently on the Senate floor.

“This commitment is in reference to the obvious need to remedy the language adversely affected our nation’s farmers and ranchers now included in the bipartisan budget act,” the Kansas Republican said Thursday.

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October 28, 2015

With Little Suspense, Budget Deal Heads to the Senate


budget deal

McConnell has insisted the government won’t shut down. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:48 p.m. | The 2015 debt limit standoff is on track to end with a whimper.

Other than the days of speeches, it’s probably over. The Senate might not even have to work over the weekend. Full story

October 25, 2015

Ayotte Backs EPA Clean Power Plan


kelly ayotte

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., broke with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Sunday by announcing her support for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

McConnell, whose home state of Kentucky has long relied on coal industry jobs, might be the most fervent opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. That includes its plan, released Friday, to cut carbon emissions in existing power plants.

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