Mitch McConnell

Ryland Barton

Gov. Andy Beshear has endorsed Amy McGrath in her race against Mitch McConnell during Kentucky’s race for U.S. Senate this year.

The endorsement isn’t a surprise—Beshear and McGrath are both Democrats—but does put Beshear at odds with McConnell, the senate majority leader, as he tries to seek more federal assistance for Kentucky during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Beshear wrote that he believes McGrath has the right character and vision to lead the state through crisis.

J. Tyler Franklin

As the nation decides which party will control the Senate this November, the race in Kentucky stands out for one big reason: It features Mitch McConnell.

Loathed by Democrats across the country as a cynical power broker, but praised by Republicans as a shrewd political tactician, the GOP’s longest-serving Senate majority leader faces a challenge from a well-funded retired Marine lieutenant colonel and fighter pilot who flew in 89 combat missions, including bombings of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Senate is preparing to vote this week on a trimmed-down Republican coronavirus relief package, though it only has a slim chance of passage in the face of Democrats’ insistence for more sweeping aid.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky released the approximately $500 billion measure on Tuesday as senators returned to Washington for an abbreviated pre-election session.

McConnell called the package “a targeted proposal that focuses on several of the most urgent aspects of this crisis." 

“The people who have really been hammered in this pandemic are people who work in the hospitality field for hotels and restaurants," McConnell said during a stop in Bowling Green recently. "Those folks, in the proposal I put together for another round, would get another check for $1,200, to try to lift them.”

Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, said it’s not his job to weigh in on whether no-knock warrants should be banned statewide.

McConnell spoke in Lexington Tuesday, when the Kentucky Fraternal Order of the Police endorsed his re-election campaign. He addressed a bill, pre-filed by Democratic Rep. Attica Scott last month. It’s been called “Breonna’s Law for Kentucky” — Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in March by Louisville Metro Police officers carrying out a warrant with a provision that allowed them to enter her home without knocking.

“This whole debate over no knock warrants is a matter of law,” McConnell said Tuesday. “You either allow them or you don’t… whether it will be taken up at the state level, I don’t know. But that’s not an issue, I think, at the federal level.”

screenshot from 2020 RNC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the Republican National Convention on Thursday, urging voters to reelect Republicans to the Senate and send President Donald Trump back to the White House.

In taped remarks from Kentucky, McConnell said that as the leader of the Senate, he considers it his responsibility to “look out for middle America.”

“Today’s Democrat party doesn’t want to improve life for middle America. They’d prefer that all of us in flyover country keep quiet and let them decide how we should live our lives,” McConnell said.

 


Ryland Barton

Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath made a campaign stop in Frankfort on Thursday, where she criticized incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell for not passing a coronavirus relief bill before the Senate adjourned for most of August.

McConnell proposed a new coronavirus relief bill in late August, but couldn’t build enough support for it among some senate Republicans, who thought it was too expensive, and Democrats, who thought it didn’t go far enough.

McGrath says the delay is hurting out of work Kentuckians and local governments trying to respond to the pandemic.

Wikimedia Commons

Amy McGrath has accepted Mitch McConnell’s challenge to hold “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates ahead of Kentucky’s election for U.S. Senate this year.

McConnell sent McGrath a letter on Wednesday calling for a “socially distanced, Lincoln-Douglas style debate” without notes, props or an audience.

“While the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we campaign in 2020, it is my view that any plans to hold in-person debates between the two of us should not be impacted,” McConnell wrote.

“Before casting their ballots this November, Kentuckians deserve the opportunity to compare us side-by-side as we share our competing visions for Kentucky’s long-term prosperity.”

Report On Russian Interference In Elections Raises Questions About KY Project

Aug 19, 2020
Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

A new report from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in U.S. elections raises new questions about a struggling eastern Kentucky development project with ties to both Senator Mitch McConnell and the Russian government. 

The 966-page document, the result of a years-long bipartisan investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, is the most explicit acknowledgement to date that Rusal, a Russian aluminum giant, was a proxy for the Russian government and that its head, oligarch and close Putin associate Oleg Deripaska, was involved in the country’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

McConnell Talks Stimulus, Postal Service Funding While in Eastern Kentucky

Aug 18, 2020
Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he’s open to calling the Senate back to Washington if Democrats are willing to budge on another round of coronavirus stimulus spending. 

Speaking in Hazard, the Kentucky Republican said all parties agree an additional stimulus package is needed; his disagreement with the Democratic leadership is on how much to spend. 

Democrats in the House passed a $3 trillion dollar spending package; Republicans have proposed $1 trillion in spending.

Lisa Gillespie

Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Congress is criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for sending lawmakers home for the August recess without passing a new coronavirus relief bill.

Negotiations over the relief package faltered after congressional Republicans and Democrats as well as the Trump administration couldn’t come to an agreement over key provisions like providing financial aid to states, unemployment benefits and liability and eviction protections.

Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional district and chairs the House Budget Committee, said that McConnell isn’t representing the state’s best interests during the negotiations.

Abbey Oldham

A new poll shows Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by 17 points in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race this year.

The survey of 793 likely voters in Kentucky by Washington D.C. based firm Morning Consult shows McConnell leading McGrath 53% to 36%. The poll was conducted between July 24 and Aug 2.

McConnell is running for his seventh term in the Senate, though this is the first year he is running while also serving as the majority leader, the high-profile position that allows him to set the agenda of the chamber and wield influence on which bills come up for votes.

Stephanie Wolf

Kentucky’s Senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, was in Kentucky Monday to talk about the $12 billion in CARES Act funding received by the state. McConnell’s first stop was at the Dare to Care food bank in Louisville, a nonprofit that received a Payroll Protection Program loan, where he spoke with reporters and greeted workers.

McConnell pointed to the food bank as one of the 47,000 small businesses in the state to receive a PPP loan, totaling $5.2 billion in federal funds.  At the first press conference, McConnell said he expects another federal relief package to get approval sometime in July, as the pandemic is “clearly not over”, he said. COVID-19 has been surging in states like Arizona, Texas and Florida. The senate majority leader said he thinks the next aid bill must address issues like healthcare, jobs, getting kids back in school and liability protection.

With a boost from the Republican-led Senate, President Trump has now confirmed 200 federal judges. Each one has a life term, representing a legacy that could extend for a generation.

The president often trumpets the achievement in speeches and on Twitter. But the credit belongs as much to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who took a victory lap last week.

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.


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