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Posts tagged "Mitch McConnell"


Rep. Steve King (R-IA) floated the possibility of shutting down the government on Wednesday if President Obama issues an executive action granting deportation relief to more undocumented immigrants. King’s comments come just one day after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) suggested that Republicans in the Senate use “funding mechanisms to address this issue.”

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” King said in remarks before the Westside Conservative Breakfast Club in Urbandale, Iowa, adding that “all bets are off” on passing a measure to keep the government running past October.

“I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that,” he added.

Congress will have just 10 working days to pass a continuing resolution after it returns from summer vacation on September 8. Several Republicans have already threatened to hold up the measure over renewal of the Export-Import Bank and the administration’s proposed environmental regulations, though no party leaders have yet endorsed using must-pass legislation to prevent the administration’s forthcoming immigration action.

Speaking to Breitbart, Rubio said he would be “interested to see what kinds of ideas my colleagues have about using funding mechanisms to address this issue.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told a Politico reporter that Republicans would strong arm President Obama into adopting a host of Republican policy priorities, from repealing the Affordable Care Act to undoing environmental regulations, but did not specifically mention immigration.

In the House, Republicans approved a bill that would end the Obama administration’s Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which has allowed young immigrants to obtain work permits and remain in the country. The measure would also prohibit the president from extending the program to other undocumented people. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) did not say if he plans to attach the measure to the continuing resolution.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest called King’s latest threat, “a real shame.” The government shutdown that ended last October took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, according to a Standard & Poor’s estimate, and a loss of 120,000 new jobs by the White House’s estimate.

Source: Igor Volsky for ThinkProgress

In a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, the Kentucky Democratic Party is calling for an investigation into whether Mitch McConnell used official government resources to solicit contributions to his reelection campaign.

The letter reads in part:


Mitch McConnell is no stranger to unethical behavior. In 2013,CREW summed up McConnell’s ethical issues, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is a five-term senator from Kentucky. His ethics issues stem from his possible use of Senate staff and resources to conduct opposition research for his campaign. He was included in CREW’s 2007, 2008, and 2009 reports on congressional corruption for unrelated matters.”

Kentucky Republicans launched their own complaint against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with the FEC that accused her of renting her campaign bus from her father at a below market rate. If this is true, the bus would be an illegal campaign gift.

Selling access to the Senate Dining Room is felonious degree of corruption. The fact that Republicans can only answer this serious charge by talking about a bus demonstrates the severity of the potential offense. None of this will be settled before Election Day, but it is extremely doubtful that the Senate Ethic Committee will get involved before November.

The Kentucky Senate race has gotten very ugly. Mitch McConnell has been corrupt for decades, but he has become so safe in his incumbency that he confidently flaunts his crimes out in the open. Republicans call President Obama a dictator and a king. They talk about impeachment for fantasy offenses, but it is their own Senate leader who is abusing his office and public resources to stay in power.

Instead of measuring the drapes in the Majority Leader’s office, Sen. McConnell deserves to be fitted for an orange jumpsuit.

h/t: Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA

H/T: Barbara Morill at Daily Kos


The ad oversimplifies McConnell’s complicated history with VAWA, one in which he has voted against final passage and reauthorization of the act, as TPM reported last year during a less high-profile dustup in the Kentucky Senate race.

Chao’s assertion that McConnell cosponsored the original VAWA is accurate — he did so in 1991. But when the act came up for a vote in 1993, McConnell was no longer a cosponsor, and hevoted against the final legislation.

In 2005, the legislation was reauthorized by a voice vote in the Senate. Then in 2012, McConnellvoted against a Senate-approved bipartisan version of VAWA which stalled in the House. In 2013, a similar bill to renew and expand VAWA passed the Senate with 78 votes; McConnell was one of 22 senators to vote against it. That version was eventually taken up and passed by the Republican-controlled House and signed into law.

That’s the basis for which Grimes’ recent attack ad claims McConnell voted “two times against the Violence Against Women Act.”

Chao asserts that McConnell has “always supported [VAWA’s] purpose” and “voted for even stronger protections.”

The latter claim is debatable. In 2012, McConnell supported a scaled-back VAWA alternativepushed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). It largely renewed the expiring programs but omitted protections for LGBT women, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants who suffered from domestic abuse. At the time, Republicans hardly sought to argue that their bill included “stronger protections” for women — they instead said the tribal jurisdiction provisions in the bipartisan VAWA proposal were unconstitutional.

The Grimes campaign blasted the new ad in a statement on Tuesday. “Simply saying, ‘I’m married to a woman’ doesn’t speak loud enough. Your actions and record over 30 years in Washington indicate where and how you will stand up for women,” said Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton.

The new McConnell ad is an attempt to defend against relentless attacks by Grimes, the U.S. Senate nominee from Kentucky, portraying the longtime incumbent as anti-woman. A large part of the Grimes assault involves the Violence Against Women Act, a federal law to fund programs to combat domestic abuse. It isn’t the first time the McConnell campaign has been defensive over VAWA.

"Alison, supporting the Obama agenda isn’t pro-woman," Chao says in the ad. "It’s anti-Kentucky."

The Kentucky Senate race is neck and neck. McConnell is ahead by just 1 percentage point, according to the TPM PollTracker average.

Source: Sahil Kapur for Talking Points Memo

h/t: Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA


Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Thursday the House will consider a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown once Congress returns from summer recess on September 8. The funding measure will probably expire in mid-November, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a deputy majority whip, told TPM.

Once Congress returns from the August recess, it’ll have a mere 10 working days to agree to a bill before the government partially shuts down. And there are two contentious issues in particular that are roped in with the CR debate.

The first is reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which supports billions of dollars in U.S. exports and thousands of American jobs through loan guarantees and other products. Its charter expires on Oct. 1, and many House conservatives, including incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), are enthusiastic about shutting the bank down, bashing it as an emblem of corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Senate Democratic leaders recognize that and may force the issue by attaching renewal of the bank to their CR.

"Well, the thing we’d like to do is pass a long-term approval of the Export-Import Bank but we certainly don’t want to let it expire. We’re weighing all options," New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, told TPM when asked if leadership will attach Ex-Im to the CR.

Passing such a bill through the Senate shouldn’t be a problem. Democrats broadly support Ex-Im renewal and a significant number of Senate Republicans do, too. “I think we do need to have an Export-Import Bank because we do need to be global competitively,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said. “We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

The question, in that case, becomes whether House Republican leaders back down and accept such a bill. That would anger conservatives who are campaigning to shut the bank down and cost Republicans some support within their own ranks.

"I think it should be a clean CR," Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told TPM. "I may end up opposing a CR if it has [Ex-Im] attached to it. Because I oppose the reauthorization."

The second issue is the battle over President Barack Obama’s recently proposed rules on coal-fired power plants to combat climate change. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who faces a tough reelection fight in his coal-heavy state, has aggressively fought to attach his amendment blocking the rule to appropriations legislation — an idea Senate Republicansstrongly support — and has vowed to continue offering it on all government funding measures.

The problem is Senate Republicans would arguably feel most of the pain of a government shutdown in the Nov. 4 elections, jeopardizing their chance to win the majority. So it’s unclear they’ll push the issue. With Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) promising that the amendment won’t fly in the Senate, McConnell faces a choice: filibuster government funding legislation or surrender his best opportunity to reverse the climate change rules.

McConnell will want to avoid doing anything that damages his odds of becoming majority leader in January. But his fighting words make it hard to back off.

"Everyone knows the administration’s war on coal jobs is little more than an elitist crusade that threatens to undermine Kentucky’s traditionally low utility rates, splinter our manufacturing base, and ship well-paying jobs overseas," McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor, promising he’ll "keep fighting" for his amendment.

Portman said he’s hopeful that because both sides have agreed on how much the government should spend, “I think we can avoid a government shutdown.”

Cole, a Boehner ally, also expressed hope Congress can avert a shutdown.

"I think so," the congressman told TPM, although he added that it’s not a certainty. "Could you stumble into a bad situation? It’s always possible. But I think people are working hard to avoid that sort of thing."

Mitch McConnell: say one thing, do another. Let’s send him packing in November at the ballot box by replacing him with Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

H/T: Sahil Kapur at TPM

h/t: Katie McDonough at Salon

h/t: Lexington Herald-Leader


"Recently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attacked his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, for out-of-state fundraisers. A spokeswoman for his campaign stated, “‘It’s] no surprise that Obama’s liberal Hollywood friends are supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign against Mitch McConnell. They’re obviously not concerned about Kentucky’s representation.’ In other words, they’re mad at her for fundraising out of state…or so they’d like you to believe.

The reality of the situation is that McConnell’s own fundraising has been mostly out of state. In fact, New York Daily News reports that a whopping eighty percent of the $20 million he’s raised this cycle has come from out of state. And although he hasn’t made any of his own trips to Hollywood for fundraising, he made six trips to Manhattan for at least eight different fundraisers, collecting money from fiscally conservative Wall Streeters and business executives. So it’s fine if you raise money from out of state, in McConnell’s book, but only if it’s Wall Street cash.

Read more here

Go Grimes! 

h/t: Joan Walsh at Alternet, via Salon


We have a real shot of defeating Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with pro-choice Alison Lundergan Grimes!

He’s voted to give bosses the right to deny birth-control coverage, against funding for family planning, and to give your tax dollars to crisis pregnancy centers that lie to women.

Kentuckians, it’s time to get rid of Mitch McConnell in November at your local polling place and replace him with Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Alison Lundergan Grimes is going to hopefully defeat Mitch McConnell in November. #KYSEN #AlisonLunderganGrimes #Kentucky #2014elections #TeamALG #MitchMcConnell #DitchMitch


Kentucky sets the golden standard of the success of universal health care, as anti-Obamacare Sen. Mitch McConnell faces a tough race. Ed Schultz and Mark Binelli discuss.