Mitch McConnell

1:58 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Poll: At Least One-Third of Kentucky Voters Plan to Oppose McConnell for Re-election

In a new poll, nearly twice as many Kentucky voters who have made up their minds say they will vote against U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014, as opposed to those who say they will definitely support him. The poll comes as both conservative and progressive groups are mobilizing to recruit candidates to challenge McConnell. 

The Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll finds 34 percent of registered voters plan to vote against McConnell while 17 percent say they would give him another six years. Forty-four percent are undecided and say they will wait to see who is running against him. 

Arguing McConnell is too moderate, more than a dozen tea party groups from across the state say they are actively recruiting someone to challenge McConnell in the GOP primary and their top priority is to ultimately retire the five-term senator.

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8:20 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Report: McConnell, Reid Close to Compromise on Filibuster Rules

U.S. Senate leaders are reportedly close to a deal that would avert the so-called “nuclear option” regarding the changing of filibuster rules. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have been in talks all week about how to move forward.

Under current Senate rules, it would take a two-thirds majority to change how filibusters can be used in the chamber. Some Democratic Senators want to change the rules with a simple 51-majority vote. Democrats accuse Republicans of using the threat of a filibuster to hold up legislation and judicial appointments. Republicans point out Democrats did the same thing when they briefly found themselves in the Senate minority during the George W. Bush administration.

The online political journal Politico reports Reid and McConnell could announce as early as today a compromise that would keep the filibuster as a viable option, but would pare back its use in several instances.

10:28 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Protests Aside, McConnell is Unthreatened Without 'Formidable Challenger,' Political Scientist Says

Nearly two years before he faces re-election in 2014, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has been under regular attack for his policy stances — from both conservative and progressive groups in Kentucky.

The most recent criticism  is coming from McConnell’s right,  as more than a dozen tea party groups have signed a letter protesting the Senate Republican leader's stances. On the other side, a group called Progress Kentucky has protested the senator a handful of times already in 2013.

Jasmine Farrier, a political science professor at the University of Louisville, says it’s natural for different groups to rally against an incumbent before an election — but it may not mean much in terms of McConnell's ability to win a sixth term.

“It would not be surprising for there to be protests, criticism and press releases daily between now and the election in 2014," Farrier said. "But that does not mean there is an actual contender who is threatening the senator’s seat either from the Republican side or from the Democratic side."

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8:40 am
Wed January 23, 2013

McConnell Robocall Promises to Fight Gun Control "Tooth and Nail"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a robocall in Kentucky criticizing President Obama’s gun control proposals. In the pre-recorded call, McConnell accuses the President of trying to “restrict your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

The call goes on to say McConnell will do everything in his power as Senate Minority Leader to protect Second Amendment freedoms.

The robocall was first reported in the online political journal Politico.

The President announced last week a set of wide-ranging gun control proposals, including a call for Congress to improve the federal background check system used to screen gun buyers. The White House also wants a ban on military-style assault weapons and a limit on the size of gun magazines available for purchase.

The debate over gun limits and Second Amendment rights was put on the front-burner after the December school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six others were murdered.

4:20 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

McConnell, Reid Negotiating Senate Filibuster Rules

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are reportedly engaged in negotiations over the use of the filibuster. The online journal Politico says Reid is weighing whether to change the filibuster rules with a 51 vote majority, instead of a two-thirds majority.

Democrats, who control the Senate, have long complained about what they consider Republican abuse of the filibuster. It’s become common for members of the Senate to effectively kill legislation and block judicial appointments by just threatening a filibuster.

Both Reid and McConnell say the Senate isn’t functioning as it should, but McConnell says the problem isn’t GOP use of the filibuster.

Some Senators, like Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, are nervous about changing the rules that govern filibusters.

The negotiations between the Senate leaders is expected to continue Wednesday, with Reid saying he hopes to have a deal in place by Thursday.

10:20 pm
Sat January 19, 2013

Ashley Judd: No Decision Yet on Senate Run Against McConnell

Is Ashley Judd a serious Kentucky Senate candidate?

Actress Ashley Judd has been the subject of political rumors for months, with supporters encouraging her to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

In an interview with Politico ahead of The Kentucky Society of Washington’s Bluegrass Ball in Washington, Judd said while she is honored by the support, she has yet to decide on a possible Senate bid.

Judd says there is no "time frame" concerning her decision.

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9:31 am
Thu January 17, 2013

McConnell: Agreement with White House Possible on US Troops in Afghanistan

Ft. Campbell soldiers in Afghanistan

Kentucky's senior U.S. Senator believes there is opportunity for bipartisan agreement concerning American troop levels in Afghanistan.

The Courier-Journal reports McConnell made the remarks after returning home from a congressional trip to Afghanistan and Israel.

The Kentucky Republican believes between 10,000-15,000 U.S. troops would be needed to continue training Afghan troops and combat terrorism after next year's American drawdown.

8:17 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Right-Wing Group Running Ads Against McConnell

Sen. Mitch McConnell

Kentucky's senior U.S. Senator finds himself the target of online ads run by a conservative group. The ads, bought by the group ForAmerica, criticize Republican Mitch McConnell for his role in the recent negotiations over the fiscal cliff.

Politico reports the ads read "Mitch McConnell: Whose side are you on?", along with a picture of McConnell wedged between President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Last-minute negotiations between Biden and McConnell reportedly helped break the impasse between Democrats and Republicans as time was running out to get a deal in place before huge spending cuts and tax increases went into effect.

Politico previously reported McConnell viewed the recent fiscal cliff deal as a way for Republicans to gain future leverage against Democrats and the White House.

8:45 am
Mon January 7, 2013

McConnell: Tax Discussions Off the Table Moving Forward

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says he'll oppose efforts by the White House to raise any more tax revenue moving forward, telling ABC News the "tax issue is finished."

The Kentucky Republican's stance on the issue differs from calls by many Democrats--and even some House Republicans--to look at a major reworking of the U.S. tax code, including the closing of some provisions and raising new revenue.

The New York Times reports McConnell is focusing intently on spending cuts, saying President Obama should take the lead on future fiscal plans.

8:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Politico: McConnell Accepted Fiscal Cliff Deal in Order to Get Future Leverage

The "fiscal cliff" deal approved by the U.S. House and Senate over the weekend was crafted by two men on mostly opposite ends of the political spectrum: Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden.

According to a report in Politico, McConnell decided to work with the White House on the deal  because Kentucky's senior Senator believed it would help the GOP gain future leverage in entitlement negotiations, and prevent President Obama from being able to castigate Republicans as the party that held tax cuts for the middle class hostage in behalf of the richest Americans.