Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell III (born February 20, 1942) is an American politician and retired attorney serving as Senate Minority Leader since 2021 and as the senior United States senator from Kentucky, a seat he has held since 1985. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as Senate Majority Leader from 2015 to 2021, and as Minority Leader from 2007 to 2015.
- I think the testimony obviously ought to be sworn testimony. And we ought to go all the way into this and take as much time as we can to reassure the American people that this sort of thing’s not going to happen again in the future.
- You're more likely to see Elvis again than to see this bill pass the Senate.
- With regard to White House officials, it will be up to the President to decide frankly whether and when and under what circumstances members of his [own White House staff] testify.
- There was no involvement whatsoever.
- on WHAS-11, denying his office's spreading lies to the media about Graeme Logan, a brain-damaged recipient of S-CHIP funds, and his family, despite recovery of subject email (see below); October 19, 2007; Countdown
- Nobody is happy about losing lives but, remember, these are not draftees. These are full-time professional soldiers.
- December 7, 2007 .
- We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job."
(National Journal): What’s the job?
The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
- Top GOP Priority: Make Obama a One-Term President, National Journal, (October 23, 2010)
- “We worked very hard to keep our fingerprints off of these proposals,” “Because we thought—correctly, I think—that the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan. When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that differences have been worked out, and there’s a broad agreement that that’s the way forward.” , The Atlantic, (January, 2011)
- Mr. President, allow me to say a few words about the Speaker of the House. There is a lot you can say about John Boehner. He loves his breakfast every morning at Pete's Diner. He is a fan of the tie dimple. He is one of the most genuine guys you will ever, ever meet. I know because we have fought many battles together in the trenches. He never breaks his word. He never buckles in a storm. What is amazing is how we have had such a frictionless relationship, especially when you consider that old House saying: The other party--that is just the opposition. But the Senate--that is the enemy. That may have been true of past House and Senate leaders, but it wasn't true for us. Though you might not expect it, I am a little more Bourbon and John is a little more Merlot. I lecture on Henry Clay. John sings "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." But I have always considered John an ally. I have always considered John a friend. It is hard not to like him, and it is hard not to admire what John has accomplished in his career. As a concerned Ohioan, he took on a scandal-plagued incumbent in a primary and won. As a freshman Congressman, he took on money laundering schemes and banking scandals involving powerful Members and prevailed. As an engineer of the Contract with America, he took on Democrats' decades-long power lock and triumphed. As an ex-member of leadership once considered politically dead, he knew he had more to offer and convinced his colleagues that he did. As the inheritor of a diminished and dispirited House minority, he dared to believe conservatives could rise again and help grow the largest Republican majority since bob-haired flappers were dancing the Charleston back in the 1920s. John Boehner has wandered the valley. John Boehner has also been to the mountaintop. John Boehner has slid right back into the valley, and then ascended to great heights yet again. He does it all with hard work. He does it with an earnestness and an honesty I have always admired.
- TRIBUTE TO JOHN BOEHNER (29 October 2015)
- When John talks about struggling to make it, it is not some platitude. When John gets choked up about Americans reaching for their dreams, it is not some act. This is a guy who had to share a bathroom with 11 brothers and sisters. Imagine that. This is a guy whose parents slept on the pullout sofa. This is a guy who worked hard behind the bar and eventually found his way atop the rostrum. Maybe that is why he is so humble. Maybe that is why when he orders breakfast at Pete's, they don't call him Mr. Speaker; they call him "John-John." Here is what I know about Speaker John Boehner. He says the code he lives by is a simple one: Do the right thing for the right reasons, and the right things will happen. I have always found that to be true. I found it to be true in our battles fighting side by side for conservative reform, sometimes from a position deep in the minority. We had our share of Maalox moments. That is for sure. But he always strived to push forward. As I said about John Boehner the day he announced his retirement, grace under pressure, country and institution before self--these are the things that come to mind when I think of him. I wish Speaker Boehner the very best in retirement. I thank him for always working hard to do the right thing--for his family, for his district, for his party, and for his country. Farewell, my friend.
- TRIBUTE TO JOHN BOEHNER (29 October 2015)
- Mr. President, two Federal courts have already found that the Obama administration's plan to regulate the land around nearly every pothole and ditch is illegal. It is hardly a surprise. The administration's so-called waters of the United States regulation is a cynical and overbearing power grab dressed awkwardly as some clean water measure. It is not. Many argue it actually violates the Clean Water Act. The true aim of this massive regulatory overreach is pretty clear. After all, if you are looking for an excuse to extend the reach of the Federal bureaucracy as widely and intrusively as possible, why not just issue a regulation giving bureaucrats dominion over land that has touched a pothole or a ditch or a puddle at some point? That would seem to be pretty much everything, and that is why the waters of the United States regulation is so worrying. It would force Americans who live near potholes and ditches and puddles to ask bureaucrats for permission to do just about anything on their own property. Want to spray some weeds? Fill out a permit. Want to put a small pond in your back yard? Ask Uncle Sam. Want to build a barn or just about anything else on the land you own? Good luck getting approval from the Feds on that.
- FEDERAL WATER QUALITY PROTECTION BILL (3 November 2015)
- I do support the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. I actually worked with Senator Barrasso to introduce it and will take a vote to move the bipartisan bill forward this afternoon. A bipartisan majority of the Senate supports the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. What it says is pretty simple. If the administration is actually serious about protecting waterways and not just cynically using this regulation as a ploy to extend the bureaucracy's reach, then it should follow the proper process to get to a balanced outcome. It should appropriately consult with the Americans who would be the most affected by the regulation, especially farmers, ranchers, and small businesses, not to mention the homebuilders, manufacturers, mine operators, and utility providers that would be particularly impacted in my State. It should appropriately consult with the States. It should actually conduct the regulatory impact analyses required of it. In short, what this bipartisan bill would do is require the administration to actually follow the balanced approach it should have followed in the first place. It is commonsense, bipartisan legislation that would protect our waterways while protecting the American people from a heavy-handed regulation that threatens their property rights and their very livelihoods. A similar bill has already passed the House with bipartisan support. Americans in places like Eastern Kentucky have suffered enough from this administration's regulatory onslaught already. This latest regulation threatens to turn the screws even tighter for almost no benefit at all. I call on every colleague to join me in standing up for the middle class instead of defending cynical, job-crushing regulations. I ask them to join me in supporting the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act this afternoon.
- FEDERAL WATER QUALITY PROTECTION BILL (3 November 2015)
Burma (March 2015)Edit
- Senate speech on Burma (22 October 2015)
- Mr. President, on November 8, just a few weeks away, the people of Burma will hold national elections. This promises to be a momentous event for a country many of us have studied and followed for a very long time--in my own case for over 20 years. This is going to be a momentous election for at least two reasons. First, for Burma's citizens--or for many of them, at least--this election represents a chance to finally choose their own leaders, which is, indeed, a rare occurrence in recent Burmese history. That is significant in itself, but there is another reason these elections are so important, because the manner in which they are conducted will serve as a key indicator of the progress of reform in that country. There are some encouraging signs that the election will be freer and fairer than what we have seen in the past. Unlike recent Burmese elections, for example, international election observers have been permitted into the country. That is an important departure from the past, and it is encouraging. At the same time, there have been troubling signs during the election cycle. Allow me to share a few of them with you now.
- First, the Constitution was not amended prior to the election. As many of my colleagues will recall, the Burmese Constitution unreasonably restricts who can be a candidate for President, a hardly subtle attempt to bar the country's most popular opposition figure from even standing for office. That is certainly worrying enough, but the Burmese Constitution goes even further, ensuring an effective military veto over constitutional change--over, for instance, amendments about running for the Presidency by requiring more than three-fourths parliamentary support in a legislature where the Constitution also reserves--listen to this--more than one-fourth of the seats for the military. So in order to change the Constitution, you have to get some military votes and obviously, so far, that hasn't happened.
- Allowing appropriate constitutional changes to pass through the Parliament would have represented a tangible demonstration of the Burmese Government's commitment to both political reform and to a freer and fairer election this November. But when the measures were put to a vote on June 25, the government's allies exercised the very undemocratic power the Constitution grants them to stymie the effort. So what kinds of messages do these actions send us? They bring the Burmese Government's continued commitment to democracy into question. If you were truly committed to democracy, why would you continue a provision like that, which to most of the world is simply quite laughable or outrageous? They also raise fundamental questions about the balloting this fall, increasing the prospect of an election being perceived as something other than the will of the people, even if its actual conduct proves to be free and fair. It is hard to see how that is in anybody's interest. The second deeply troubling consideration is the apparent widespread, if not universal, disenfranchisement of the Rohingya population. For all the ill treatment the Rohingya have had to endure in their history, at least they had once been able to vote and run for office in Burma. They voted and fielded a candidate for office in both the 2010 election and the 1990 election, but, alas, no more.
- Reports indicate that otherwise eligible Rohingya, more than half a million of them, have been systematically deprived of the right to vote and the right to stand for election. That poses another serious challenge to next month's elections being seen as free and fair, and there is another serious challenge I would note as well. Finally, while media activity in Burma is far more open than it was before 2010, there have been troubling signs that indicate a recent and worrying backslide. In fact, just a few days ago, news circulated of individuals being arrested for Facebook postings. These are very disturbing reports. Campaigns can be conducted only when a free exchange of ideas is permitted. Arresting citizens for free expression runs directly counter to that idea. It is at odds with notions of free speech and democracy, and it seems designed to send chilling signals to the Burmese people. It is clear that Burma faces substantial challenges. From the undemocratic elements in Burma's Constitution, to the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya, to troubling incidents regarding the curtailment of citizens' basic rights, these challenges are significant. They need to be addressed.
- At the same time, we should not allow these things to completely overshadow what Burma has accomplished. It has actually come a long way in recent years. There are many positive things to be built upon as well. In short, there is still hope for Burma's upcoming election. Thein Sein's government has an opportunity to make these last few weeks of campaigning as free and as fair as possible. The Burmese Government can still hold an election that, despite the troubling things I mentioned, can be embraced by Burmese citizens and the international community alike. That will mean ensuring these final weeks of campaigning are as free and as fair as possible. That will mean ensuring freedom of expression is protected. These are the kinds of minimum goals that Burmese officials must strive toward in the final weeks of the campaign season. If the Burmese Government gets this right, if it ensures as free and fair an election as possible, with results accepted by competing parties, the government, and the military, that would go a long way toward reassuring Burma's friends around the globe that it remains committed to political reform and progress in the bilateral relationship. Indeed, both the government and the military have committed to standing by the election results.
- Now, let me be clear. While I have always approached this relationship and the role of sanctions realistically, this election is a test the government must pass. Simply holding an election without mass casualties or violence, while vitally important, isn't good enough. Let me say that again. Just holding an election without mass violence is not enough. It has to do a lot more than just have the absence of violence. As I stated on the Senate floor earlier this year, if we end up with an election not accepted by the Burmese people as reflecting their will, it will make further normalization of relations--at least as it concerns the legislative branch of this government--much more difficult. It would likely hinder further enhancement of U.S.-Burma economic ties and military-to-military relations. It would likely erode confidence in Burma's reform efforts. It would also likely make it more difficult for the executive branch to include Burma in the Generalized System of Preferences Program or to enhance political military relations.
- I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association
- The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
- Statement released to the press following the death of Antonin Scalia, noting that the Senate would not confirm Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland. The statement was quoted extensively at the time Battle Begins Over Whether Obama or Next President Should Fill Scalia Seat. NBC News (February 14, 2016). Retrieved on September 18, 2020. and in subsequent pronouncements by McConnell stating that he would be willing to allow a nomination in 2020 before the election at the end of Donald Trump's first term. McConnell Doesn't Rule Out Confirming SCOTUS Nominee in Presidential Election Year. CBS News (October 8, 2018). Retrieved on September 18, 2020. Cf. with statements on the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.'
- Talking about Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland "Tea Party-Aligned Kentucky Gov May End 95-Year Democratic Reign" (August 6, 2016)
- Apparently there’s yet a new standard now to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate.
- She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Remembering John McCain (August 2018)Edit
- Senate speech on John McCain after the latter's death (27 August 2018)
- Madam President, on Saturday evening, a great loss echoed throughout our country. Six decades of patriotic service came to an end. We have suspected for some time that we would bid farewell to our colleague, the senior Senator from Arizona, John McCain. John took full advantage of the months since his diagnosis. His hard work continued, but happy reminiscing, fond farewells, final reflections, and time with family actually came to the fore. I was privileged to spend a small share of that time with John. We sat on his back porch in Sedona under the desert sky, replaying old times. John did things his way these last months. For his colleagues here, the time confirmed a sad but obvious truth: The Senate won't be the same without John McCain. I think it is fair to say that the passion John brought to his work was unsurpassed in this body. In more than 30 years as a Senator, he never failed to marshal a razor-sharp wit, a big heart, and, of course, a fiery spirit.
- When John saw an issue the same way you did, you knew you had just found your most stalwart ally. You would thank your lucky stars because when you found yourself on the other side of that table, as I think all of us learned, you were in for a different kind of unforgettable experience. Either way, serving alongside John was never a dull affair. I found myself on both sides of that table over the years. John and I stood shoulder to shoulder on some of the most important issues to each of us, and we also disagreed entirely on huge subjects that helped define each of our careers.
- John treated every day, every issue, with the intensity and seriousness that the legislative process deserves. He would fight like mad to bring the country closer to his vision of the common good. But when the day's disputes were over, that very same man was one of our most powerful reminders that so much more unites us than divides us; that we should be able to differ completely on policy and stay united in love of our country.
- I am just glad we never found ourselves in opposite dugouts. You see, John and I spent years as neighbors in the Russell Building. Often, when softball season rolled around, our offices would take the field together as one united McTeam, we called it. As a seriously wounded war hero and a childhood polio survivor, I would have to say John and I didn't exactly have the makings of an elite double-play duo. I took the mound once or twice, but I admit, we mostly offered moral support. Moral support. Really, that is what John McCain gave this body and this country for so long. His memory will continue to give it because while John proudly served with us as the Senator from Arizona, he was America's hero all along. Just this month, Congress finalized a major bill for our All-Volunteer Armed Forces that we named after John. This might seem like a small detail, but, really, it was a fitting capstone for a career so thoroughly defined by service in and then service for the ranks of those who wear our Nation's uniform.
- Generations of McCains have served with distinction in our great Navy. As John described his Scottish heritage in one memoir, "The McCains [were] bred to fight." And fight they have. One by one, McCains have entered the academy's gates in Annapolis. One by one, they marched past a centuries-old battle flag bearing the phrase "Don't Give Up the Ship." While honorable service was in his DNA, John's story was never simple. At Annapolis, as he would come to explain with some relish, his major distinctives were mostly the weakness of his grades and the length of his disciplinary record. The first miracle in John's military career was the fact that he somehow made it through school. But he prevailed, and bigger tests soon came. He stared death in the face aboard the USS Forrestal and again when he was shot down and dragged, battered and broken, into the hands of our Nation's enemies. Five and a half hellish years in captivity. Merciless beatings for the uniform he had worn and the values he would not renounce. That stubborn, rebellious streak went from a stumbling block to a saving grace. Stubborn virtue sustained John. He declined early release in solidarity with his brothers. He never gave up the ship.
- The following years brought legislative accomplishments, to be sure. While John's constituents were lucky to have him as their Senator from Arizona, John also remembered that our titles say "United States Senator." He worked across the aisle on the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, whose work helped heal the wounds of war and normalize relations with Vietnam. He led congressional delegations and overseas travel that were famously as grueling as they were educational. John was seemingly immune to jet lag, and he was never more excited than when he had an opportunity to share American values abroad. And, of course, he was singularly devoted to the men and women of our Armed Forces. From countless visits with deployed units in Iraq and Afghanistan to his committee meetings right here in this body, John honored their sacrifices in a way that only he could. He never forgot that notwithstanding the grandeur of our military might and technological prowess, our armed services are made up of people--of our constituents, of volunteers, of the brave.
- It takes one kind of heroism to undergo unimaginable pain and suffering as a POW but then persist in loyalty. It takes another kind of heroism to sustain that passion for decades more, to withstand the slings and arrows of politics, the compromises, the disappointments, the defeats, and yet still consider it a joy and an honor to serve. Few have either kind of heroism. John McCain had both. Fortunately, all that intensity came paired with a world-class sense of humor. As we all know, John really hated to lose. The line he used after his Presidential campaigns still makes me laugh. Some would ask how he was coping with defeat. John would say: "Actually, I'm sleeping like a baby. You know--I sleep for two hours, wake up, and cry." Seriously, it is hard to describe this larger-than-life figure without lapsing into what sound like cliches.
- We have all heard our whole lives about the importance of patriotism and self-sacrifice, but we cannot take that culture of commitment for granted because just like our Nation's security and our American liberty, the very notion that some causes really are greater than ourselves only survives because servicemembers and statesmen like John McCain will fight and even die to defend it. The bond between John and his country was so deep, but, of course, other bonds ran deeper still. While John's colleagues grieve our own loss, we also send our love and support to those who know him even better--those who call this man their husband, their son, their father, and their grandfather. We stand with John's loving wife Cindy. We stand with Doug, Andy, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget. We stand with his mother Roberta and with all of John's devoted friends and loyal staff. Thank you for lending him to us longer than we had a right. Thank you for supporting him while he supported us.
- John McCain has fought his last battles and cast his final votes, but the Nation he loved is still not done with him yet. This week will be dedicated to remembering him. On Friday, he will lie in state in the Capitol like other American heroes before him. As the days turn to weeks, I know we are all eager to come together and collaborate on ways we can continue to honor his memory. Generation after generation of Americans will hear about the cocky pilot who barely scraped through Annapolis but then defended our Nation in the skies, witness to our highest values even through terrible torture, captured the country's imagination through the national campaigns that spotlighted many of our highest values, and became so integral to the U.S. Senate, where our Nation airs and advances its great debates. America will miss her devoted son, her stalwart champion, her elder statesman. We will miss one of the very finest gentlemen with whom I have had the honor to serve, but we will not forget him. I consider it our privilege to return some small share of the love John poured out for this country. It is our honor as Americans to say to the late, great John Sidney McCain III what we pray he has already heard from his Creator: "Well done, good and faithful servant." Well done. You fought the good fight. You finished the race. You kept the faith. You never gave up the ship.
- I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea. We’ve, you know, tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African-American president. I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that. And I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants, as well, who have come to the country and experienced dramatic discrimination of one kind or another. So, no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.
- The Senate just passed the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. I’m especially proud it includes my amendment reaffirming the importance of our nation’s ongoing missions in Afghanistan and Syria.
- Well Mister President, here's what happened: House Democrats decided to add a poison pill the new demand is really extreme: a hard statutory cap on the number of illegal immigrants who can be detained by the federal government
- I just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump, and he's prepared to sign the bill,
He will also be signing a national emergency declaration at the same time.
- Breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American.
- "Sure, Let's Make the Senate Even More Deliberative", The New York Times (April 4, 2019)
- Think of me as the Grim Reaper.
- President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
- A press release in response to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. McConnell, Mitch (September 18, 2020). McConnell Statement on the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. United States Senate. Retrieved on September 18, 2020. Cf. 2016 and 2018 statements on similar nominations.
- The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the President and other powerful people.
- Quoted by Alex Rogers, Clare Foran (19 January 2021), Mitch McConnell: Capitol Hill mob was 'provoked' by Trump, CNN
- The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like
- One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration. We're confronted with severe challenges from a new administration, and a narrow majority of Democrats in the House and a 50-50 Senate to turn America into a socialist country, and that's 100% of my focus.
- Our colleagues have plenty of time to get it done before the earliest projected deadline. There would be the potential for time agreements to wrap it up well before any danger
- In 2003, 2005 and 2006, Mr. President, you joined Senate Democrats in opposing debt limit increases and made Republicans do it ourselves.
- "Fact-checking Biden’s claim that raising debt limit is usually bipartisan'" (October 4, 2021)
- You explained on the Senate floor that your ‘no’ votes did not mean that you wanted the majority to let the country default; but rather that the President’s party had to take responsibility for an agenda which you opposed. Your view then is our view now."
- "Fact-checking Biden’s claim that raising debt limit is usually bipartisan'" (October 4, 2021)
- The Senate is moving toward the plan I laid out last night to spare the American people from an unprecedented crisis.
- "Trump urges GOP senators to vote against McConnell debt deal" (October 7,2021)
- The pathway our Democratic colleagues have accepted will spare the American people any near-term crisis
- "Trump urges GOP senators to vote against McConnell debt deal" (October 7,2021)
Remarks on Electoral College votes (January 2021)Edit
- We’re debating a step that has never been taken in American history — whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election.
I’ve served 36 years in the Senate. This will be the most important vote I’ve ever cast.
- President Trump claims the election was stolen.
The assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories.
I supported the president’s right to use the legal system. Dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country, but over and over, the courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges whom the president himself has nominated.
- Every election we know features some illegality and irregularity, and of course that’s unacceptable. I support strong state-led voting reforms. Last year’s bizarre pandemic procedures must not become the new norm, but my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election, nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.
- The Constitution gives us here in Congress a limited role. We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids.
The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.
- This election actually was not unusually close. Just in recent history, 1976, 2000, and 2004 were all closer than this one. The Electoral College margin is almost identical to what it was in 2016. If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We would never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.
The electoral college, which most of us on this side have been defending for years, would cease to exist, leaving many of our states with no real say at all in choosing a president.
The effects would go even beyond the elections themselves.
- Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.
- The framers built the Senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. So I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this extraordinarily thin basis. And I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.
"McConnell blames Trump but voted not guilty anyway" (February 2021)Edit
Alex Rogers and Manu Raju (13 February 2021), McConnell blames Trump but voted not guilty anyway, CNN
- Former President Trump's actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty. Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.
- Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice.
- We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.
- He did not do his job. He didn't take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored. No. Instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily -- happily -- as the chaos unfolded.
- African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.
- "Virginia congressman blasts McConnell for comment on voters of color", CNN, January 21 2022
- We’re going to do everything we can to make sure she’s successful
- Madam President, here is a quote from Candidate Biden's campaign website in 2020: "The U.S. has a right and a duty to secure our borders and protect our people against threats." Well, that was then; this is now. The Biden administration's weak border policies set a new record in 2021. Customs and Border Protection had to make--listen to this--2 million--2 million--arrests, and it doesn't appear that that new record will last long; 2022 is already trending even worse. CBP is currently seeing about 7,000 encounters every single day, and they fear they could see as many as 18,000 per day--a truly staggering figure. To put this in perspective, President Obama's former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has reflected that a daily count above 1,000--above 1,000--was "a relatively bad number, and I was gonna be in a bad mood the whole day," reflecting back on his experience. Now we are at seven times that figure and still climbing. It is a President's responsibility to fix this crisis, but this President is taking major steps to make it even worse.
- Senate speech on Border Security (7 April 2022)
- The Biden administration has announced they will cancel legal authorities that have helped CBP contend with these massive surges. A group of States led by Arizona have explained in court that title 42 is "the only safety valve preventing this Administration's disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated catastrophe." The administration's attempts to explain why they are caving to the far left and throwing our borders open make no sense whatsoever. The White House keeps claiming this is a public health decision; they cannot keep title 42--leading you to ask, why? Democrats don't act like they think COVID is finished. They give speeches daily about the need for more funding. They say we should be sending health assistance around the rest of the world. The only place on the planet where Democrats say COVID is over apparently is at our southern border. A growing number of House and Senate Democrats have expressed concern and anger over President Biden's awful decision. But press releases are one thing. What matters is how people vote. Senate Democrats have taken every meaningful opportunity to back the administration's border policies and vote down Republican efforts to improve security. Their votes have helped create this mess. We will see if they finally change course and begin voting to help Republicans end the crisis instead.
- Senate speech on Border Security (7 April 2022)
- Mr. President, on the campaign trail, Candidate Biden made some big promises for America's economic recovery. His campaign published "the Biden Plan to revitalize Main Street and invest in small businesses" and another "to give America's working families the tools, choices, and freedom they need to build back better." So just how have the working families and small businesses fared with President Biden and the Democratic Party calling the shots? Sixty-nine percent of Americans say our economy right now is bad. Even more--77 percent--say they are pessimistic about costs rising even more in the coming months. Just last month, one longstanding measure of optimism among small business owners reached its lowest level on record. Month after month, the historic high inflation Democrats helped unleash with runaway spending last spring is taking its toll on Americans' hope for the future, but more immediately, it is taking its toll on their wallets. More than a third of Americans say they are having difficulty paying for usual household expenses. Just last month, the price of a gallon of milk was 16 percent higher than the year before. Gas prices are scraping the stratosphere. In Kentucky, the average price for a gallon of regular reached an all-time high 2 weeks ago. Today, it is 20 cents higher than that.
- Senate address on Biden administration (24 May 2022)
- In Lexington, one resident who drives a ride-share put it this way: I'm not trying to be a billionaire, I'm just trying to pay some bills. She is facing more pain at the pump, and so are the folks paying even more to fill up trucks, tractors, or delivery vans with diesel. The costs behind small business owners' headaches are behind consumers' hardship. But somehow, as our Nation reaps the effects of their first year of one-party control, Washington Democrats are operating as if the exact opposite conditions were afoot. After their spending bonanza helped kick off historic inflation, they want to pile on the biggest tax hikes in history. After their radical day 1 climate agenda hammered the most affordable forms of American energy, they want to double down on far-left fantasies. As the Biden administration passed its 100th day in office, I urged the President to "recommit to solving our nation's actual problems." Well, here we are, approaching his administration's 500th day in office. By now, America's working families have figured out for themselves that the so-called "Biden Plan" for them is just a fast track to historic hardships.
- Senate address on Biden administration (24 May 2022)
"Collins, Manchin and other lawmakers react to the Supreme Court draft opinion" (May 2022)Edit
"Collins, Manchin and other lawmakers react to the Supreme Court draft opinion", Politico (Updated: 05/03/2022 03:11 PM EDT)
- Last night’s stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court. By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law.
- The disgraceful statements by President [Joe] Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer refuse to defend judicial independence and the rule of law and instead play into this toxic spectacle. Real leaders should defend the Court’s independence unconditionally.
- This lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible. The Chief Justice must get to the bottom of it and the Department of Justice must pursue criminal charges if applicable.
- All nine Justices should tune out the bad-faith noise and feel totally free to do their jobs, following the facts and the law where they lead.
Ukraine (May 2022)Edit
- Remarks on Ukraine (17 May 2022)
- Madam President, yesterday, in a bipartisan landslide, the Senate advanced legislation to get more arms and assistance to the innocent people of Ukraine. Senators Collins, Cornyn, Barrasso, and I just returned last night from Europe. Our first stop was Kyiv. It was moving to feel some of the impacts of Putin's aggression, to see a free and independent nation made to literally fight for its life. But it was also inspiring to witness the bravery and the determination that have united Ukrainians in the face of this onslaught. Ukraine has had more than its share of domestic political differences in recent years. Putin must have thought some Ukrainians would welcome--would actually welcome--invading Russian forces. Instead, both Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking Ukrainians have united in defense of their sovereign nation. Some predicted Ukraine would fold in a few days and Russia would stroll right to Kyiv. That was wrong too. Ukraine is tough, and Kyiv remains in Ukrainian hands, with life moving back toward normalcy despite the continued threat.
- Our delegation was honored to meet with President Zelenskyy. He expressed his gratitude to the United States for our leadership and support on a bipartisan basis, as well as for other countries that have stood by his people in their time of need. America is not the only free country that has Ukraine's back. President Zelenskyy was moved by certain European countries who have given Ukraine, in his words, literally "everything they had." Of course, other European countries can and should do more to help Ukraine. And the administration should lead an effort to ensure broad, sustained international support for Ukraine. America's support for Ukraine has highlighted the limits to our stockpiles of certain munitions and shortcomings in our own defense production capacity. A number of European countries have dipped even deeper into their weapons inventories. They will need a refill as well. As our European friends wake up from their "holiday from history" and increase defense spending, I hope the United States will be a reliable supplier of advanced weaponry to our NATO allies, a textbook win-win.
- Our delegation reiterated to President Zelensky the bipartisan consensus which the Senate demonstrated with last night's vote. The United States of America has Ukraine's back and will stand with our friends until they win. Ukraine is not asking anybody to fight their fight for them. They are only asking for help in getting the resources and tools they need to defend themselves. And we and our friends and partners across the free world will stand behind Ukraine until they achieve victory as they define it. The outcome of this fight has major ramifications for the West, and the Ukrainians should not be left to stand all alone. As an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Senate reaffirmed yesterday, America's decision to support Ukraine is not some frivolous act of charity. It serves our own national security and strategic interests for international borders to continue to actually mean something. It serves our own security and interest to impose massive costs on Putin's long-running campaign of violent imperialism. And it directly and powerfully serves our national interest to deter potential future wars of aggression before they start.
- So, Madam President, I assure you that President Xi and the CCP are watching Ukraine carefully. There is a concrete reason why democratic Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan are rooting hard for Ukraine to prevail. Moreover, if we are stuck in a long-term strategic competition with China, we will want a stable, secure, and strong Europe on our side. Speaking of America's national interest, our delegation also visited what we hope and expect will soon be the two newest members of the NATO alliance. We arrived in Stockholm and Helsinki just as the leaders of Sweden and Finland announced their nations will seek to join the alliance that has secured peace in Europe for more than 73 years. It was an honor to have robust discussions with Prime Minister Anderson, Defense Minister Hultqvist, and key parliamentary leaders in Stockholm; and President Niinisto, Prime Minister Marin, Defense Minister Kaikkonen, and parliamentary leaders in Helsinki. I gave them my assurance as Senate Republican leader that I fully support both Finland's and Sweden's accession. I will do all I can to speed treaty ratification through the Senate.
- Finland and Sweden are impressive and capable countries, with military capabilities that surpass many of our existing NATO allies. As new members, they would more than pull their weight. These two nations' geographic locations are strategic. They have well-equipped and professional armed forces. Their military and high-tech industrial bases are robust. There is already significant interoperability that connects their defenses and NATO's. I will have more to say on this subject in the days and weeks ahead. Finland and Sweden would make NATO even stronger than it stands today. Finally, it must be noted that our delegation was not the most important group of Americans shipping out to stand with our friends in Europe--not by a longshot. There are 100,000 American soldiers currently stationed in Europe to bolster the peace and shore up NATO. This includes the Kentucky-based V Corps. And we received word just last week that 4,700 members of the 101st Airborne from Kentucky's Fort Campbell will also travel to Europe in the coming months. The Screaming Eagles have a long history of defending America's national security interests in Europe. I am proud of these brave men and women for being ready to deploy at a moment's notice. I am proud America can make this peaceful contribution to our allies' sovereignty and strength in Europe, and I am proud of the entire Fort Campbell community for keeping these men and women well-prepared for this mission.
Quotes About McConnellEdit
- I believe it's time to get elected officials in office who will put AMERICA FIRST... and that's what I will do!
- Kathy Barnette MAGA Candidates Attack McConnell Over 'Abhorrent' $40B Ukraine Aid Bill (5/15/22 AT 5:33 PM EDT)
- * Poor McConnell, though - Mr. Decorum was a stunned and horrified witness to this angry encounter. I thought he was going to keel over from cardiac arrest then and there
- Why was McConnell so mad? Well, at least part of that ire was playacting. McConnell wants to be as outraged as possible about the possibility of fiddling with the filibuster to send a signal to on-the-fence Democrats about what he believes the consequences would be of changing the rules. McConnell also could well be sending up a flare for former President Donald Trump, who has relentlessly attacked the Republican leader in recent months. See, I can attack Biden too! — and all that. But I don't think politics alone explains just how vociferous McConnell was in his critique of Biden. It felt more personal — and my educated guess is that the Kentucky Republican thought of himself and Biden as two similar souls when it comes to the Senate. Sure, they disagreed on most issues when they served together, but they both found common cause on the sanctity of the filibuster.
- Chris Cillizza in Mitch McConnell just broke up with Joe Biden (13 January 2022)
- McConnell, in short, felt (and feels) betrayed by Biden. We can debate for days as to whether he should — particularly given the blockade McConnell and his Republican colleagues have constructed to stop much of the Biden agenda in the Senate. Whether or not McConnell's anger is justified, however, is somewhat beside the point. It's uniquely possible that the final two years of Biden's first term will be under a Republican-controlled Senate, with McConnell as its leader. That can't be an appetizing prospect for Biden — particularly after McConnell's tirade against him Wednesday.
- Chris Cillizza in Mitch McConnell just broke up with Joe Biden (13 January 2022)
- If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell.
- Yesterday, when asked about reparations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a familiar reply: America should not be held liable for something that happened 150 years ago, since none of us currently alive are responsible... As historian Ed Baptist has written, enslavement, quote, “shaped every crucial aspect of the economy and politics” of America, so that by 1836 more than $600 million, or almost half of the economic activity in the United States, derived directly or indirectly from the cotton produced by the million-odd slaves. By the time the enslaved were emancipated, they comprised the largest single asset in America—$3 billion in 1860 dollars, more than all the other assets in the country combined.
The method of cultivating this asset was neither gentle cajoling nor persuasion, but torture, rape and child trafficking. Enslavement reigned for 250 years on these shores. When it ended, this country could have extended its hallowed principles—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—to all, regardless of color. But America had other principles in mind. And so, for a century after the Civil War, black people were subjected to a relentless campaign of terror, a campaign that extended well into the lifetime of Majority Leader McConnell.
It is tempting to divorce this modern campaign of terror, of plunder, from enslavement. But the logic of enslavement, of white supremacy, respects no such borders, and the god of bondage was lustful and begat many heirs—coup d’états and convict leasing. vagrancy laws and debt peonage, redlining and racist GI bills, poll taxes and state-sponsored terrorism.
- We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox. But he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodard. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama and a regime premised on electoral theft. Majority Leader McConnell cited civil rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation by a government sworn to protect them. He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion. Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader.
What they know, what this committee must know, is that while emancipation dead-bolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows wide open. And that is the thing about Senator McConnell’s “something.” It was 150 years ago. And it was right now.
The typical black family in this country has one-tenth the wealth of the typical white family. Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women. And there is, of course, the shame of this land of the free boasting the largest prison population on the planet, of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share.
- Mr. President. I rise today to honor my good friend Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader whose strong leadership, sterling example and wise counsel have earned him an honored position within the ranks of the extraordinary public servants who now serve or have served in the U.S. Senate. Senator McConnell is the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the U.S. Senate, the first being Senator Alben Barkley, who led Senate Democrats from 1937 to 1949. Mitch is now the longest-serving Republican Senator in Kentucky history, eclipsing the previous record held by the legendary Senator John Sherman Cooper. Today, Senator McConnell has been serving as a U.S. Senator for almost a quarter century. During that time, four U.S. Presidents, scores of colleagues, and several crises have come and gone, but Mitch has carried on with courage, boldness and steadfastness. He has weathered the most turbulent political seas and has always been a calming influence on his Senate colleagues while at the helm.
- Few would have predicted that Senator McConnell would have such staying power when he was first elected to the Senate in 1984 by a razor-thin margin--less than half a percentage point. But political pundits and prognosticators often only skim the surface or state the obvious and give short shrift to the characteristics that matter most in the making of an outstanding leader. In other words, they didn't really know Mitch McConnell. They didn't know about how he overcame polio at age 2, undergoing an intensive therapy regimen at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation and obeying doctors' orders not to walk or run for 2 years. That took determination, and Mitch showed that early on. Senator McConnell's service to his State and Nation is as varied as it is impressive. After serving as a student body president and graduating with honors at the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences in 1964, he went on to law school at the University of Kentucky, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association and earned a law degree. He followed that by working as an intern for Senator John Sherman Cooper and as a chief legislative assistant to Senator Marlow Cook, which provided him with invaluable experience in Washington, DC. Other stints followed: He was deputy attorney general under President Gerald R. Ford and a county judge-executive in Kentucky until he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on Jan. 3, 1985.
- In whatever position Senator McConnell has served, he has unfailingly served with distinction. I have had the good fortune of working with Mitch for years, dating back to his election as a freshman Senator, when he became the first Republican to win a statewide race in Kentucky since 1968. In fact, Mitch was the only Republican in the Nation in 1984 to defeat a Democrat incumbent. To his considerable credit, Mitch has been defying the odds ever since. For example, during his tenure as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Republicans controlled the Senate--in large part due to his leadership. Mitch McConnell is a conservative's conservative who gets high marks from the American Conservative Union and all who know him. Moreover, he is a scholar and able defender of the Constitution and this great country. Knowing just how deadly terrorists can be, he is deadly serious about protecting America. He also is an outspoken advocate of the first amendment and a tremendous parliamentary tactician. When Mitch McConnell talks, people listen and pay heed--almost always with excellent results.
- Mitch McConnell and the other elites really have not figured out what is happening in this moment of great crisis and upheaval. What we are seeing now in America is about so much more than people just being sick of the police murdering innocent people. It is a generational and class revolt.
- Short, owlish, with a smooth Kentucky accent, McConnell seemed an unlikely Republican leader. He showed no aptitude for schmoozing, backslapping, or rousing oratory. As far as anyone could tell, he had no close friends even in his own caucus, nor did he appear to have any strong convictions beyond an almost religious opposition to any version of campaign finance reform. Joe told me of one run-in he'd had on the Senate floor after the Republican leader blocked a bill Joe was sponsoring; when Joe tried to explain the bill's merits, McConnell raised his hand like a traffic cop and said, "You must be under the mistaken impression that I care." But what McConnell lacked in charisma or interest in policy he more than made up for in discipline, shrewdness, and shamelessness- all of which he employed in the single-minded and dispassionate pursuit of power.
- Barack Obama, A Promised Land (2020), p. 245-246
- To me, in political terms, McConnell is actually far worse than the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper only comes once in our lifetimes -- at the moment of death. In contrast, McConnell has been killing legislation for years. Add to that, McConnell has now gone beyond killing bills to helping embolden Donald Trump's worst instincts. [...] There's no way to stop the actual "Grim Reaper." But, with McConnell, there's one way to retire him. He is up for re-election in November 2020. And before you dismiss the notion that McConnell could lose, keep in mind that a recent poll from McConnell's home state of Kentucky shows him with about a 33% favorable rating, while over 50% hold an unfavorable view. The people of Kentucky may just have had their fill of McConnell, who appears to take joy in killing legislation that will help our nation. Kentucky voters could retaliate and act as the "Grim Reaper" -- bringing McConnell's political career to an end.
- In the Senate yesterday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of breaking their promise to confirm a number of presidential judicial nominations. To punish the Dems, McConnell used Senate rules to waste virtually the whole day having the Senate clerk read the bill under consideration, a global warming bill, aloud -- all 491 pages of it. Why? A Republican lobbyist leaked an internal GOP strategy memo to the Democrats (quote): "The GOP very much wants to have this fight, engage in it for a prolonged period, and then make it as difficult as possible to move off the bill." Why? (quote) "The focus is much more on making political points than in amending the bill, changing the baseline text for any future debate, or effecting policy." Making not policy but political points the goal of Mr. Bush's party: and you thought they weren't good at anything.
- Ultimately, Sen. McConnell will need to decide how much he wants to press his colleagues to ‘pack’ the Fed for this nomination to advance,
- Karen Shaw Petrou, financial-policy consultant in regrads to President Donald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve Board, according to Judy Shelton's path to Fed hits another roadblock, amid quarantining senators published November16, 2020
- The long view of history is going to conclude that the political genius of Mitch McConnell was strictly limited to his ability to muster a majority to employ every chokepoint in an 18th-century Constitution to make sure that a Black man who was elected to be president was not able to act fully as president.
- Charles P. Pierce, "Mitch McConnell Has Been Exposed as an Empty Suit", August 12, 2020.
- Congress, particularly the Republican Senate, has been dragging its feet over passing a bill to provide states-specific aid, because doing so would be an example of government working to help the people, and such a thing is ideologically unsound on McConnell's side of the aisle.
- Trump and McConnell know these states are reopening too soon, but they don’t care, because they need to make the money happy. To protect the money, McConnell wants to shoehorn in a provision to the states' aid package that prevents businesses from being sued by employees or customers because they got sick after businesses opened too soon. The blue states need that aid, and McConnell knows he has their congressional representatives over a barrel. The utter cruelty of these tactics, the nihilistic self-destruction of it in the face of more than 55,000 dead and thousands more to follow, has scarce precedent in the annals of U.S. politics. Instead of helping the entire country in this time of grievous crisis, Trump and McConnell are putting their boots to the neck of every state they deem ideologically unfit. It will be a damn miracle if the nation survives this, and them.
- Republicans like Kentucky's Mitch McConnell were quick to defend Rice with trivia. (MCCONNELL): Her parents aptly named her Condoleezza, after the Italian musical term "con dolcezza," which is a direction to play "with sweetness". (STEWART): Her last name is a starchy side dish, often served with beans. I vote 'yes'!
- The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political “leaders” like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm. McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse. The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle—they’ve never had it so good—and they want to keep it that way! We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell’s Beltway First agenda or Biden’s America Last.
- It was a complete election disaster in Georgia, and certain other swing states. McConnell did nothing, and will never do what needs to be done in order to secure a fair and just electoral system into the future. He doesn’t have what it takes, never did, and never will.
- Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.
- America has lost more than 12 million jobs in the last six months. An estimated 12 million people have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance during the worst pandemic in a century. Tens of millions report not having enough to eat. But one month ago, tens of millions of unemployed Americans lost... a $600 weekly federal unemployment insurance benefit that Congress failed to renew... If the facts of this political disaster were more widely known and understood, Republicans could lose not only the presidency but also the Senate in November. After all, millions of unemployed Republicans lost most of their income as a result of what their political party...did... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged on July 29 that about 20 Republicans senators didn't want any new legislation at all.., McConnell himself had come under fire for rejecting calls for assistance to state and local governments, suggesting instead that states should consider going bankrupt... States are losing hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue from taxes during this deep recession. Unlike the federal government, they have laws that prohibit them from running budget deficits and borrowing during a recession. By contrast, the federal government can currently borrow at zero interest rates — actually negative interest rates if we take inflation into account... Who would want to be forcing layoffs — potentially totaling millions at the state and local level — during a depression and pandemic? Ask Sen. McConnell and Donald Trump.