Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Talks The Talk
There hasn’t been a lot for conservatives to cheer over since the election, but I think Mitch McConnell becoming Minority Leader is one of them. I like Bill Frist, I think he’s a nice enough guy, but quite frankly, the Senate was a disaster area under his leadership.
Hopefully the Republicans in the Senate will start acting a little more like Republicans with McConnell in charge. Here are some excerpts from McConnell who was on an interview with Hugh Hewitt:
“I will remind your listeners and your readers that it takes 60 votes to do just about everything in the Senate. 49 is the most robust minority. Nothing will leave the Senate that doesn’t have our imprint. We’ll either stop it if we think it’s bad for America, or shape it, hopefully right of center. So the minority leader’s job is actually a lot easier. When you’re the minority leader, you’re looking for 41 votes. When you’re the majority leader, you’re looking for 60. So Senator Reid can expect all of the cooperation that he extended us in similar circumstances.
…Well, I think it’s reasonable to assume I’m not likely to be a push-over. And you know, we’ve…this sounds kind of strange to say, because obviously, I’d prefer to have 50 votes at a minimum, and be technically the majority leader, even though we wouldn’t have much of a majority. Some of my most exhilarating moments in the Senate have been while we were in the minority. And an issue you mentioned, I actually organized and carried out the last all-night, true filibuster we’ve had in the Senate. It was about six weeks before the 1994 election, where we were able to kill taxpayer funding of elections and spending limits. It was a huge headline in the Washington Post and the New York Times, Republicans Kill Campaign Reform Measure. That was six weeks before we had the best Republican Congressional election of the 20th Century.
…We expect from them the same level of cooperation we extended to President Clinton. We decided he’d been elected president, and we were not entitled to deny him all of his judges. Elections do have consequences, and in the last two years of the Clinton administration, when we had 55 Republicans in the Senate, we still confirmed over 70 of his judicial nominees, including 15 circuit court nominees. Now a lot of conservatives would say why did you do that. Well, the reason we did it, he won the election. And President Bush won the election, and we expect the same level of cooperation from them, as we gave them under similar circumstances. If we don’t get it, let me just confirm again, Hugh, that in the Senate, everything is related to everything else. The minority has a lot of power in the Senate. This is not the House of Representatives. Everything will be linked to everything else. And if they’re looking for cooperation from us in moving legislation on the floor, which they will need to be able to do anything, it’s going to be tied to fair treatment of the President’s judicial nominees.
…Well, we’re certainly going to follow the President’s lead on (Iraq). We’re all interested to see what the Iraq Study Group of Baker and Hamilton come up with. But I think the best solution to this problem is to succeed. And I’m going to stick with the policy that I think gives us the maximum chance of success. And remember, in closing, it’s no accident we haven’t been attacked again at home for the last five years. We haven’t been attacked because we’ve been on offense, going after these guys where they are in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.”