Mitch McConnell

Ryland Barton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’ll only support sending more federal funds to state and local governments if the money is spent on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and governors across the country have been pleading with Congress to prop up struggling state budgets during the pandemic amid a massive decline in income and sales tax revenues—taxpayers are making and spending less money.

 


Becca Schimmel | WKU Public Radio

A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky is criticizing Republican Mitch McConnell for allegedly trying to defund a federal program that detects and curbs the spread of infectious diseases.

Amy McGrath is one of 10 Democrats seeking her party’s nomination for the Senate seat held by McConnell.

The New Yorker recently reported that in 2017, McConnell pushed an amendment that would have ended funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

McGrath also blames McConnell for decreased funding for important public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


A 37 year-old district court judge nominated for a seat on the powerful Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit appeared all but certain to be confirmed after a hearing Wednesday — over Democrats' objections.

The nominee, Justin Walker, was hand picked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the D.C. Circuit court, which is often called the second most important court in the country.

As new allegations emerge about his motives for retirement, Judge Thomas Griffith says that he faced no political pressure in his decision to leave the bench.

"My decision was driven entirely by personal concerns and involved no discussions with the White House or the Senate," he said in a statement provided to NPR.

Cheryl Beckley | WKU PBS

Last week, Kentucky’s senior Sen. Mitch McConnell suggested that states be allowed to declare bankruptcy as they struggle with cratering tax revenues during the coronavirus pandemic.

The comments came as governors across the country are calling for federal help to prop up state budgets. Earlier transfusions of cash for states—of which Kentucky received about $1.6 billion—are only allowed to be used for response to the pandemic.

But allowing states to file for bankruptcy would require Congress to pass a law allowing it, state legislatures would have to enact their own policies and legal experts say it would likely be challenged for violating the U.S. Constitution.

Updated at 7:39 p.m. ET

The future of a coronavirus aid package that's likely to top $1 trillion is in limbo following the failure of a necessary procedural vote in the Senate.

The measure, which required 60 votes to pass, garnered just 47 votes on Sunday evening, with Democrats refusing to back the Republican-led plan. Democrats are calling for changes to the legislation, including further expansion of unemployment insurance and more restrictions on federal assistance provided to large corporations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the top Senate Democrat for comments he made on the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday calling out Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Appearing before a crowd of abortion-rights demonstrators, Schumer, D-N.Y., referred to the court's two Trump appointees, saying: "You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he has the votes to establish rules for the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump without support from Democrats.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a local television affiliate that she's "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans to use "total coordination" with the White House to set out President Trump's impeachment trial.

Becca Schimmel

Union coal miners and retirees breathed a collective sigh of relief after the U.S. Senate passed a spending bill that includes support for miners’ pensions, which had been at risk due to the coal industry’s downturn. 

The bill, which funds the federal government for the coming year, also includes The Bipartisan American Miners Act which secures pension and health benefits for retirees.

The United Mine Workers says that without Congressional action about 82,000 retirees and widows could have lost some or all of their retirement benefits in 2020. 


Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the impeachment process against President Trump as a political proceeding rather than a judicial one.

"I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. "The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."

Kyeland Jackson

Daniel Cameron has been sworn in as Kentucky’s next attorney general. He is the first Republican to hold the office since 1948 and the first African American elected on his own ticket to statewide office.

Cameron was supposed to take office on January 6, but started early after newly-elected Gov. Andy Beshear appointed him to fill a vacancy in the office. Beshear, a Democrat, was the previous attorney general and was inaugurated as Kentucky’s 63rd governor on December 10.


National Archives

Bowling Green and other cities in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee will join communities across the nation holding rallies on Dec. 17  in support of impeaching President Donald Trump. The rallies are in advance of the planned Dec. 18 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on whether Trump should be impeached. 

The nationwide network of rallies is called "Nobody Is Above the Law".

Several of the Kentucky rallies planned for Bowling Green, Frankfort, Hodgenville, Louisville, and Owensboro specifically call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to support the U.S. Constitution and hold an “adequate” impeachment trial in the Senate.


Senator Joe Manchin YouTube screenshot

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin pledged Wednesday to block all legislation until pensions and health benefits are secured for coal miners. 

Manchin said no legislation will pass the Senate until he is assured that coal miners’ benefits will be in the spending bill used to fund the federal government.

The Bipartisan American Miners Act would permanently secure pensions for about 82,000 coal miners who could lose their retirement benefits by sometime next year without congressional action.


Ryland Barton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell interviewed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a speaking event at the University of Louisville on Monday.

McConnell did not ask Pompeo about the ongoing impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump or whether Pompeo would resign to run for U.S. Senate in his home state of Kansas.

McConnell has been an outspoken advocate for Pompeo to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.

 


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