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    Mitch McConnell Tag

    Congress has returned to work and have started to ponder two important tasks at hand: Hurricane Harvey relief bill and the debt ceiling. One option leaders have leaned towards is attaching the two into one bill, thus killing two birds with one stone. The House could pass the Harvey relief bill on Wednesday and send it to the Senate, who could attach the debt ceiling bill to it. Then the Senate would send it back to the House for another vote.

    While everyone is talking about statues or President Donald Trump taking a glance at the eclipse, America has some serious issues to address once Congress returns from its recess. This includes the debt ceiling. Last month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the government from running out of money to pay its bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provided some comfort to Mnuchin by assuring him there's a "zero chance" Congress will not raise the debt ceiling.

    Next Tuesday, August 15, is an Alabama Special Election primary for the Republican nomination to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Luther Strange was an interim appointment, and is running. Congressman Mo Brooks and "controversial" former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also are running. Since whoever gets the Republican nomination is all but guaranteed to win in the general election, the Republican Special Election essentially is the election.

    Overnight the Senate failed to pass a so-called "skinny" repeal of Obamacare, when three Republican Senators (Collins, Murkowski and McCain) voted against the measure. Whether the "skinny" repeal was an actual repeal was doubtful. As unveiled late last night, it removed the mandate, the medical device tax, and defunded Planned Parenthood, but it was something of a charade. Several Senators voted for it only after Paul Ryan gave some assurance that the Senate bill could be subject to a conference with the House, and would not be passed by the House as is. But passing the "skinny" repeal kept hope alive that there might emerge some meaningful form of Obamacare repeal. The defeat of the bill killed any form of Obamacare repeal for the foreseeable future.

    One of my favorite things to come out of the Republican ObamaCare flailing is Kemberlee's term for it:  a cluster. It is that.  But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly has one card left up his sleeve, and he intends to use it next week: force his caucus to record for their constituents (and for posterity) their vote on ObamaCare repeal.  (Democrats will vote, too, of course, but we know how that will go.) I like this move.  Put every single Republican on record for once and for all on ObamaCare repeal, and let us see who stands where and how that compares to the numerous repeal votes each cast when Obama was in the White House, veto pen at the ready. This isn't a single-play for McConnell; it's part of one-two punch that he hopes will rally Trump supporters and others who want ObamaCare gone (or those who want to keep it.).  The pressure resulting from a formal repeal ObamaCare vote will help him herd recalcitrant members behind . . . something that is less of a cluster.

    Occupy Democrats is a progressive group who claim they provide "a counterbalance to the Republican Tea Party."  They are best known for creating "click bait" memes on Facebook that the left eats up. Occupy Democrats keeps Snopes.com busy writing reports on their false, or "mixture" of fact and fiction, claims. Their latest false claim is getting widespread attention; however, its premise is a complete, and easily-debunked, fantasy.  They declare that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had polio as a child (true) and that all of his medical care was paid for by the government (false).  McConnell's care was paid for by the March of Dimes, a private, nonprofit charity.

    In a transparent attempt at blame-shifting, former Obama spokesman Josh Earnest has tried to place responsibility for President Obama's failure to respond effectively to Russian meddling in the election . . . on Republicans. It's been reported that Obama was paralyzed into inaction by fears of seeming to help Hillary during the campaign. Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Earnest said:

    "The first time, [McConnell] didn't have time to schedule time to talk about it. This is something that Republicans did not take seriously, and that did hamstring our efforts to respond to this as effectively as we would have liked."

    In an interview with the Boston Globe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren claimed Sen. Mitch McConnell won't even say hello to her after she violated Senate rules during floor debate over the confirmation of Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. According to the Globe:
    “I’ve spoken to him, but he has not spoken to me,” Warren said, laughing in a disbelieving way, shaking her head. “I say hello to Mitch every chance I get, and he turns his head.”

    As Senate Democrats continue to politicize the confirmation of Trump Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced he'll file cloture Tuesday. Democrats have promised to filibuster the Gorsuch confirmation vote. Cloture, if passed, would limit the filibuster. During floor debate Tuesday, McConnell said:

    Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared this morning on Meet the Press and announced that the Republicans are unlikely to reach the 60 votes needed to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.   Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-) later appeared on the same show and announced that Gorsuch would indeed be confirmed and that it would happen as early as this week. The NY Daily News reports:
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, likely won’t get the 60 Senate votes he needs for confirmation — even as the GOP ensured Gorsuch is a go.

    Tax reform has been at the forefront of GOP policy issues in Washington. Under the Trump administration, tax reform includes a proposed border adjustment tax or tariff. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the White House want tax reform legislation in the works by August, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said an August timeframe is unlikely:
    "I think finishing on tax reform will take longer. But we do have to finish the health-care debate, up or down, win or lose, before we go to taxes," McConnell told Politico.

    "Can I get the McConnell special, please?" Almost exactly a month ago, Sen. Elizabeth Warren violated Senate floor rules when she attempted to read a letter from the late Coretta Scott King that would've impugned then Sen. Jeff Sessions. Warren refused to stop reading and eventually read the letter in full outside of the chamber. Describing the event, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "nevertheless, she persisted." Now, women everywhere are flocking to have this pithy little McConnell quote inked on their bodies for all eternity.

    The Nuclear Option was used for the first time by Harry Reid in 2013 to allow Obama to stuff the lower federal courts with Obama nominees despite Democrats not having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate at the time. It was a clear possibility at the time that Democrats were about to lose control of the Senate in the 2014 cycle, so the court-stuffing Nuclear Option was a desperate last-minute tactic. Democrats said that rule change would not apply to the Supreme Court. Holding back on using the Nuclear Option for the Supreme Court was a meaningless gesture at the time, because there were no Supreme Court vacancies.

    After his meeting with President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump drove down to Capitol Hill to meet with Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
    "I think we’re going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people," Trump said, sitting next to Ryan at a conference table in the Capitol. "We can’t get started fast enough." After meeting with McConnell, Trump said his top priorities were immigration and border security, addressing health care and "big-league jobs."
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