During Louisville Visit, McConnell Thanks Rural Voters For Republican Victories Sunday, Dec 4 2016 

At a Kentucky Farm Bureau event on Saturday, Sen. Mitch McConnell thanked rural voters for helping Republicans take control of the state House of Representatives and White House during elections last month.

McConnell said he was “proud to be the leader of a party that cares about rural America” and that Democrats have neglected rural interests.

“All across rural America, there’s a sea of red. Because our friends on the other side have become an urban-oriented party,” McConnell said.

Trump won 66 percent of the vote in Kentucky while Clinton got 29 percent, winning a majority of votes in only the two most populous Kentucky counties.

In state house races, Republicans turned a 53-47 Democratic majority in the chamber into a 64-36 GOP advantage on Election Day.

The contests were a sea change in Kentucky politics, toppling the last legislative chamber in the South controlled by Democrats. The GOP now has control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion for the first time in state history.

McConnell facetiously thanked President Obama for the Republican victories.

“Thanks to president Obama, there are more Republicans in elected office in America at all levels — local, state, Congress and now the White House — than at any time in 100 years,” McConnell said.

McConnell said the Senate would move to repeal the Affordable Care Act at the beginning of 2017 and a replacement would be developed while the old version is “phased out.” He said current enrollees would not lose healthcare coverage.

McConnell also said he hoped “America will still be in the trading business” after both parties bashed free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership during this year’s presidential campaigns.

“Every trade agreement is not necessarily a loser, but it’s a complicated subject and it was a huge issue in the campaign and as a practical matter, we will not be doing any trade agreements any time soon,” he said. “I think it requires explaining to the American people that there are actually a lot of winners in these trade agreements too and of course American agriculture is an example of that.”

The Kentucky Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federation are in favor of the TPP agreement, which would create a free trade area spanning 12 countries from China to Chile.

Trump campaigned on scrapping and renegotiating U.S. trade agreements like TPP and NAFTA, which includes Canada and Mexico.

McConnell Will Lead Senate GOP Wednesday, Nov 16 2016 

Senate Republicans re-elected Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Wednesday to be majority leader next year, keeping the respected legislative tactician at the forefront when the new Congress begins working on Donald Trump’s agenda.

McConnell is widely popular among his GOP colleagues and his selection was never in doubt.

The 74-year-old has a genteel manner but has proven to be a coolly effective leader. He enraged Democrats by refusing to let the Senate consider President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal judge Merrick Garland to fill a Supreme Court vacancy last February. That paid dividends, when Trump was elected president.

McConnell was Senate minority leader for eight years before becoming majority leader when the GOP took control in 2015.

He distanced himself from Trump during the campaign, but says he’s ready to work with him.

In Other News… McConnell and Lawrence on President-elect Trump; Martha and Snoop; goodnight, Leonard Cohen Saturday, Nov 12 2016 

Donald Trump | Photo via Creative Commons

Trumped: On late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States of America, says The New York Times. Republicans also retained control of the House and Senate. But the real victory of the night went to a man whose name didn’t even appear on the ballot: […]

McConnell: Anti-Trump Protests No Cause For Alarm Friday, Nov 11 2016 

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell said he’s not concerned about the protests across the country that were sparked by the election of Donald Trump as the next president.

The senator told reporters on Friday that he doesn’t think anyone should be “unduly alarmed” by the anti-Trump protests that have erupted around the country since Election Day.

On Thursday night, hundreds of people peacefully protested Trump’s election in downtown Louisville. The group chanted, marched and held signs disavowing the president-elect that many have called misogynistic, racist and homophobic.

McConnell was asked about it during a news conference Friday at the University of Louisville.

“Going back to the beginning of this country, we’ve had pretty open ability to complain about whatever you want to and it’s about as American as apple pie,” he said. “People are free to express themselves and I don’t think we ought to be unduly alarmed by it.”

McConnell also talked about his Thursday meeting with President-elect Trump in Washington.

One of Trump’s first expected actions when he takes office in January will be to nominate someone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. McConnell wouldn’t say if he’s advocating for a particular candidate.

“President Trump will make a selection and the Senate will act on it expeditiously,” said McConnell.

McConnell said he also expects a major overhaul of the tax system next year, and that he asked Trump to move swiftly in approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

McConnell: Trump Win Proves Country Ready To ‘Try Something New’ Wednesday, Nov 9 2016 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says he spoke to Donald Trump Wednesday and congratulated the president-elect on his victory in Tuesday’s election. Republicans also maintained their majorities in the House and Senate.

McConnell says Trump’s victory came in a “stunning” election.

“And clearly an indication that the American people would like to try something new,” he says. “And I know the speaker shares my view that we would like to see the country go in a different direction and intend to work with him to change the course for America.”

McConnell says he expects Trump to act quickly in nominating someone to fill the Supreme Court vacancy and to initiate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward to keep our commitment to the American people,” says McConnell. “It was the single worst piece of legislation among many bad pieces of legislation passed during the first two years of the Obama presidency. The sooner we can go in a different direction, the better.”

Trump has pledged throughout his campaign to lead the effort to dismantle the law known as Obamacare if elected.

McConnell says he congratulated Trump and running mate Mike Pence on their victory in a phone conversation Wednesday.

The featured image is of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell at Fancy Farm in 2016. 

In Other News… McConnell speaks on Trump, Oliver on JCPS, Seelbach cocktail swerve, Lawrence/Aronofsky saga Friday, Nov 4 2016 

Trump McConnell

  Bottom of the Ninth: A few weeks back, we talked about Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vow of silence when it came to the presidential election, refusing to answer questions or offer any statement on GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. The thought was Mr. Trump was too toxic to discuss and Sen. McConnell’s […]

VA environmental study determines Brownsboro site for new medical center to be ‘preferred alternative’ Monday, Oct 31 2016 

Veterans Affairs VA Hospital

After nine months of delays, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has finally released a copy of an environmental study for the proposed site of Louisville’s new VA hospital, near the intersection of Brownsboro Road and the Watterson Expressway, deeming this site its “preferred alternative.” The draft Environmental Impact Statement examined the cumulative effect of […]

In Other News… Cards Heisman watch, McConnell-tied PAC raises big dollars, Main Street, Halloween theater, Lawrence and Johansson Friday, Oct 28 2016 

Lamar Jackson | Courtesy of UofL Athletics

Keeping up with the Cardinals: It’s been a few weeks since we’ve looked in on your No. 5 University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals. With just five games left, experts are talking two things: playoff outlook for your one-loss Cardinals and Heisman prospects for Superman Lamar Jackson. ESPN explores Louisville’s playoff hopes in their piece: “Decision […]

In Other News … Bellarmine’s thieving raccoon, McConnell mum on Trump, Jim Beam strike Friday, Oct 14 2016 


Thief of Hearts: TIME, The Huffington Post, SB Nation, BuzzFeed and, of course, Insider Louisville reported an unusual crime committed on Bellarmine University’s campus on Tuesday. In case you missed it: A Bellarmine student, Guy Williams of Elizabethtown, Ky., spied a raccoon that frequents campus. Williams approached to feed acorns to the raccoon, his phone […]

Despite Trump’s Recent Missteps, McConnell Stands By GOP Nominee Thursday, Aug 11 2016 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he still supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, despite the latest firestorm that has erupted over Trump’s most recent remarks about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

McConnell addressed the Middletown Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Many say Trump encouraged violence this week when he suggested “maybe there is” something supporters of the Second Amendment could do to stop Clinton from choosing Supreme Court justices. Trump’s campaign said he was referring to the political weight of the National Rifle Association and gun-rights advocates.

Met with laughter from the crowd, McConnell declined — tongue-in-cheek — to respond when asked what he thinks about Trump.

“Here’s what I decided when I got out of bed this morning: I’m going to have a Trump-free day … next question,” he said.

McConnell later said he stands by his endorsement of Trump and deflected one questioner’s criticism that he hasn’t been vocal enough in his support of the nominee.

“Believe me, voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton is easy for me — easy,” McConnell said.

McConnell also told the group that it will be “dicey” for Republicans to hold onto their Senate majority in the fall elections. The GOP has 54 seats, while Democrats have 44. There are two independents.

“We, meaning we Republicans, have 24 members up,” he said. “Our Democratic friends only have 10. So as you can see, we were going to be on defense anyway, regardless of what was going on at the presidential level.”

McConnell said there are competitive races in states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Florida and Indiana.

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