Mitch McConnell

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.

 


Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a temporary spending bill to fund federal agencies, averting a possible government shutdown, according to an administration official.

The Senate passed the bill earlier Thursday, hours ahead of the midnight shutdown.

Lawmakers voted 74-20 to approve the measure to fund the government through Dec. 20. The legislative measure, known as a continuing resolution, will extend current funding levels at government agencies.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky radio host Matt Jones says he won’t be a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020.

Jones had formed an exploratory committee as he considered whether to seek the Democratic nomination to unseat longtime Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell.

Jones made the announcement Friday morning on his Kentucky Sports Radio program.

Ryland Barton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that it appears Gov. Matt Bevin has lost his bid for reelection, even though Bevin still hasn’t conceded the race.

Bevin has requested a recanvass of the final tally that showed Beshear winning by more than 5,000 votes last Tuesday. A recanvass is a minimal double check of each county’s final election results and historically has only produced minor differences in the final count.

But on Monday, McConnell signaled that the race was over.

Matt Markgraf

Kentucky state representative Charles Booker says he is exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2020, potentially challenging Democrats Amy McGrath and Mike Broihier in the primary in hopes of taking on incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell next November. Booker announced the formation of his exploratory committee by video on Monday.

Booker, 35, is a liberal legislator and lawyer from Louisville who was elected to his first term last year. He serves on the Natural Resources and Energy, Judiciary, and Economic Development and Workforce Investment committees. Booker is a member of the Louisville Metropolitan and Kentucky Black Legislative caucuses.

A former Democratic Senate staffer was sentenced to two years of probation this week for helping another onetime staff member break into a Senate office late at night to hack government computers. Their actions exposed the private information of five Republican senators, in an act of retaliation for their support of Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Disastrous Disconnect: Coal, Climate And Catastrophe In Kentucky

Oct 28, 2019
Illustration by Joanna Eberts

This story is part of a series about the insufficient protections for vulnerable people as natural disasters worsen in a warming climate. The Center for Public Integrity and four partners – the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, High Country News, Ohio Valley ReSource and StateImpact Oklahoma – are contributing stories.

REGINA, Ky. — Todd Bentley stepped onto his porch and saw the storm swelling the creek near his home. If this kept up all night, he feared, the creek could overflow its banks and wash out his neighborhood’s road. He headed out into the rain with his teenage son to secure his mother’s trailer across the street.


McConnell Vows To Stop Impeachment In Fundraising Video

Oct 7, 2019
Becca Schimmel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vows to stop any Democratic push for impeachment in a social media campaign ad that he’s using as a platform to raise campaign funds off the inquiry of President Donald Trump.

In the brief Facebook video, McConnell makes it clear that the Republican-controlled Senate with him in charge will be a firewall against efforts to remove Trump from office.

“All of you know your Constitution,” McConnell says in the video. “The way that impeachment stops is with a Senate majority with me as majority leader.”

McConnell: Senate Must Take Up Impeachment If House Approves

Sep 30, 2019
Office of Sen. McConnell

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Senate rules would require him to take up any articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump if approved by the House, swatting down talk that that the GOP-controlled chamber could dodge the matter entirely.

"I would have no choice but to take it up," McConnell said on CNBC. But he cautioned, "How long you're on it is a whole different matter."

House Democrats are pushing for quick action on their probe into a phone transcript and whistleblower complaint that Trump pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Democratic foe Joe Biden's family.

Ryland Barton

Democrats have been trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to take up election security measures that passed out of the House of Representatives earlier this year, but the Senate majority leader has shown little willingness to do so.

In his home state of Kentucky, McConnell has been dogged by protesters calling him “Moscow Mitch”—one of the few epithets he dislikes. A billboard in his hometown of Louisville now urges his constituents to “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop Blocking Election Security Funding.”

Mitch McConnell Says He’s Waiting On Trump To Chart Path On Guns

Sep 3, 2019
Office of Sen. McConnell

Congressional Republicans are waiting for the White House to chart a path forward on gun violence legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, effectively putting the burden on President Donald Trump to decide the GOP’s legislative response to the spate of mass shootings that included another deadly attack in Texas over the weekend.

Asked about prospects for a Senate vote on legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House to expand background checks for gun purchases, McConnell said, “The administration is in the process of studying what they’re prepared to support, if anything.”

Broadcaster Matt Jones Takes Step Toward Senate Run

Aug 29, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

The host of a popular Kentucky sports talk show announced Thursday that he’s taking a step toward running as a Democrat for the seat of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by forming an exploratory committee.

Matt Jones said on his radio show that his decision on whether to enter the 2020 campaign will come after this year’s statewide election in November.

If he gets in, he would face a tough primary next spring that includes ex-Marine combat aviator Amy McGrath — who narrowly lost a high-profile race for the U.S. House in 2018 and is already running TV ads promoting her Senate campaign. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will face a daunting race against McConnell, the most powerful congressional Republican and the kingpin of Kentucky politics.

Becca Schimmel | WKU Public Radio

A Kentucky Democrat hoping to take Republican Mitch McConnell's U.S. Senate seat says the country needs stricter background checks for gun owners.

But Amy McGrath isn’t in favor of an assault weapons ban.

In comments made during an interview with WKU Public Radio, McGrath said if elected to the U.S. Senate, she’d push the chamber to take up measures she says are backed by both gunowners and those who don’t own firearms.


McConnell Undergoes Surgery to Repair Shoulder Fracture

Aug 16, 2019
Becca Schimmel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture in his shoulder — an injury he suffered when he fell at his Kentucky home earlier this month.

The surgery occurred Thursday in his hometown of Louisville, a McConnell spokesman said Friday.

"The surgery was performed without incident, and the Leader is grateful to the surgical team for their skill," McConnell spokesman David Popp said in a brief statement.

McConnell's staff did not immediately respond to an email seeking additional details about the procedure.

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