Mitch McConnell

McConnell Won’t Seek Democratic Votes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Republicans will repeal and replace the health care law and overhaul the tax code without Democratic help or votes, the AP reports.

Said McConnell: “It’s clear that in the early months it’s going to be a Republicans-only exercise. We don’t expect any Democratic cooperation on the replacement of Obamacare, we don’t expect any Democratic cooperation on tax reform.”

Caitlin Owens: “Republicans can’t do everything they want to on health care without Democratic votes, under Senate rules. They can do a lot through a process called budget reconciliation, which allows them to pass budget-related policy with just 51 votes. But they can’t touch central elements of Obamacare.”

McConnell Says Trump Makes It Harder on Himself

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the Weekly Standard that President Trump’s approval rating would be “10 to 15 points higher if he allowed himself to stay on message.”

McConnell said he likes “what the president is doing,” citing deregulation efforts, his Supreme Court nominee, and Cabinet picks. But “what he’s saying makes everything harder.”

McConnell Wakes Up the Left

First Read: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a shrewd tactician… But we’re not sure if his decision to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for reading Coretta Scott King’s letter opposing Jeff Sessions from back in the 1980s was a smart play.”

“If the goal was to keep people from reading/hearing that letter, well, that backfired…. If the goal was to keep Warren from repeating her message, well, that didn’t work… And if the goal was to help Sessions with his Democratic colleagues, well, that didn’t go over well, either.”

Rick Klein: “Sessions will still be confirmed as attorney general on Wednesday, and Warren will be allowed to speak on the Senate floor again after that happens. The lasting impact of this week in the Senate, however, may be massive.”

“For starters, lamentations of fierce partisanship resulted in the formal rebuke and silencing of a liberal hero – and with no apparent larger reason. (Senators have said worse of each other, and Republicans have the ultimate silencing weapon – the majority.) More broadly, the organizing energy that began outside of Washington now has outlet inside of it. Between Betsy DeVos, Sessions, and now Andrew Puzder, the Trump Cabinet has woken up the left without even actually doing anything.”

McConnell Says GOP Pleased with Trump So Far

New York Times: “Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and the majority leader, says he and his Senate Republican colleagues are quite satisfied with the Trump team so far. In fact, he said, they are reassured by signs that President Trump is going to hew to a conservative agenda after early fears that the president — a relatively unknown quantity to most elected Republicans — might not really be one of them.”

Said McConnell: “I think there is a high level of satisfaction with the new administration. Our members are not obsessed with the daily tweets, but are looking at the results.”

McConnell Rebukes Trump’s Attack on Judge

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “distanced himself from President Trump’s positions on Russia, voter fraud and the travel ban, while criticizing the president for attacking a federal judge,” Politico reports.

Said McConnell: “It is best not to single out judges. We all get disappointed from time to time. I think it is best to avoid criticizing them individually.”

McConnell Rules Out Filibuster Change

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “all but ruled out the possibility of a change to the filibuster rule this year,” The Hill reports.

McConnell made his comment “one day after President Trump said he wants Senate Republicans to strip Democrats of the power to filibuster Supreme Court nominees if they attempt to block his pick.”

Said McConnell: “Senate rules are a matter for the Senate and a lot of other people have opinions. We’ve already adopted the rules for this Congress at the beginning of the year. Basically we didn’t adopt any because in the Senate rules are permanent, unlike the House which every two year adopts a new set of rules. We don’t.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“We got results that would not have been possible without a negotiating partner like Joe Biden. Obviously, I don’t always agree with him, but I do trust him, implicitly. He doesn’t break his word, he doesn’t waste time telling me why I’m wrong… There’s a reason ‘Get Joe on the phone’ is shorthand for ‘Time to get serious’ in my office.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a moving tribute to Vice President Joe Biden.

McConnell Pledges to Quickly Repeal Obamacare

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “signaled the Senate would move swiftly to repeal Obamacare now that the GOP Congress will have a Republican president next year,” Politico reports.

Said McConnell: “It’s pretty high on our agenda as you know. I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”

McConnell Finally Goes All In for Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made his strongest statement yet on his party’s presidential nominee, telling a rally in his home state that “we need a new president, Donald Trump, to be the most powerful Republican in America,” the AP reports.

“McConnell has warned repeatedly that Republicans could lose control of the Senate this year as they are forced to defend a handful of seats in swing states across the country. Since endorsing Trump shortly after he secured the nomination, McConnell has been mostly silent about the nominee so that vulnerable incumbents — like New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte — could distance themselves from Trump and his increasingly erratic comments.”