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Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) Trump Enabler Helping Trump and Russia More Than America

Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) is a Trump enabler who has done more to protect and enable Trump and help Russia than he has done to help America and protect the constitution. Instead of Mitch McConnell, doing his job to help Americans during the great recession his focus was to make Obama a one-term president. Mitch McConnell did his best to obstruct Obama during the great recession at the expense of everyday Americans. Instead of trying to help Americans, he wanted to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything even if meant harming Americans. If McConnell were a real American, he would have put aside any difference with Obama and worked with him for the American people.

First Moscow McConnell blocked Obama’s court picks then McConnell made up a lie 10 months before an election "leave it to the people" to steal Obama Supreme Court pick now less than 30 days from an election Moscow Mitch wants to fill a Supreme Court opening. What happen to "leave it to the people" can you say Moscow Mitch is a hypocrite, can you say coup d’état. After blocking Obama picks to the court system Moscow Mitch packs the court system with over 200 right-wing judges who are not qualified to be judges. Here is the thing the people had put Obama in place so they had already decided that the pick would be Obama’s. However, McConnell with 10 months to go outright stole that pick by refusing a hearing on Obama’s pick while saying it was up to the American people disregarding the fact that the American people put that out Obama in office to make that pick. Now less than 30 days from an election Moscow Mitch would fill a Supreme Court opening. What happen to "leave it to the people" can you say Moscow Mitch is a hypocrite.

Four years ago, McConnell and Republicans said it should be up the American people now with the election less than 30 days away McConnell and Republicans are refusing to wait on the vote of the American people just the opposite of what McConnell and the Republicans said 4 years ago. McConnell and Republicans after packing the court system with over 200 judges they are pushing a vote to pack the Supreme Court while accusing the Democrats of what they are doing and have done. McConnell and Republicans are accusing the Democrats of what they have been doing for the last years even though the Democrats have not done anything yet. Once again, Republicans are showing just how hypocritical they are and how little they care about what the American people want or who they vote for.

Instead of doing the business of the American people, McConnell and Republicans have been busy packing the courts. There are over 400 bills on McConnell desk that he has refused to address that would help the American people; instead, he is more interested in packing the court system. McConnell has blocked everything from legislation to help unemployed workers to a bipartisan background check bill for gun sales. Moscow Mitch is not helping the American by packing the court system while refusing to pass bill that actually help the American people.

When Obama wanted to come out with joint statement on Russian interference instead of doing the right thing Moscow Mitch said no and threatened to use it against Obama, which would have caused confusing during the 2016 elections. We know Moscow Mitch knew about Russian interference during the 2016 election so why does he keep preventing election security bills from passing, maybe Moscow Mitch wants the Russian to continue helping Trump and the Republican Party.

History is a funny thing they say winners write the history, which may be true at the time it is written however, history is, always updated with the facts as they come out. As the facts come out and the history about Moscow Mitch is re-written about how he wanted to make Obama, a onetime president at the expense of the American people. In addition, how he deprived him of his court picks and his Supreme Court pick the question will be answered was he trying to deprive a black man from his place in history?

Moscow Mitch has done nothing to prevent Russian hacking of the 2020 election and it does not appear he plans to do so. We elect our representatives to protect us from our enemies both foreign and domestic (Trump) Moscow Mitch refuses to protect us from both. Republicans do not believe in laws or the constitution applies to them. Republicans only care about our laws and the constitution when they are not in power using it to attack democrats. When they are in power they violate our laws and the constitution every chance they get. Read below to find out more about Moscow Mitch.#MitchMcConnell, #moscowmitch, #massacremitch  

By Teo Armus

After the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that companies could finance election spending, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) celebrated the prospect that corporate America would enter — and influence — the political fray. “For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process,” he said in a statement at the time. He hailed the decision, Citizens United, as “an important step” in “restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups.” But just over a decade later, McConnell has a different message for companies: Unless it involves money, they had better stay quiet. “My warning to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” McConnell said at a news conference in Kentucky on Tuesday, before adding: “I’m not talking about political contributions.” more...

The Senate minority leader said corporations "have a right to participate in a political process" but should do so without alienating "an awful lot of people."
By Allan Smith and Frank Thorp V

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that it is "stupid" for corporations to take stances on divisive political issues but noted that his criticism did not include their political donations. "So my warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics," McConnell told reporters at a news conference in Louisville. "It's not what you're designed for. And don't be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of one of America's greatest political debates." McConnell's comments were the third time he's addressed the corporate backlash over Georgia's recently passed voting law, which came about in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump's campaign of falsehoods about the election result in the state last fall. Late last week, the CEOs of Delta and Coca-Cola — which are based in Atlanta — both condemned the new measure. And on Friday, Major League Baseball pulled this year's All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of that same law. That game will instead be played in Colorado. more...

By James Walker

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reminded of his support of the Citizens United ruling after he warned big businesses to "stay out of politics" as they denounced a controversial new voting law in Georgia. The Kentucky Republican said it was "simply not true" and a "big lie" to call the new voting law racist or a return to Jim Crow-era restrictions on minority communities. The new Georgia voting law tightens restrictions on absentee ballot voting; makes it illegal for election officials to mail out absentee ballots to everyone on the voter roll; threatens a misdemeanor charge against those who hand out water and food at polling stations; and hands the state legislature greater control over the Georgia Election Board. more...

Mia Jankowicz

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chastized companies speaking out about Georgia's new voting laws, saying they should "stay out of politics." Despite this, McConnell is a regular recipient of corporate donations, and by some measures outstrips any other member of Congress. During a news conference Monday, he warned CEOs to avoid getting embroiled in public debate over the sweeping measures signed into law in Georgia at the end of March. Civil rights activists have slammed the Election Integrity Act of 2021 as suppressing voters, particularly Black voters. Many corporations have followed suit, including major Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned big businesses they would face "serious consequences" after accusing them of employing "economic blackmail" in attempts to influence voting laws as the backlash over Georgia's elections law that imposes voting restrictions intensifies.
"From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government," the Kentucky Republican said in a statement Monday. "Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order." more...

Jacob Pramuk, Kevin Breuninger

Any hopes that Washington could scrape together a bipartisan infrastructure package took a hit Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters the more than $2 trillion plan the White House unveiled Wednesday “is not going to get support from our side.” The proposal would invest in roads, bridges, airports, broadband, water systems, electric vehicles and job training programs, and raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to offset the spending. The Republican also vowed to oppose the broader Democratic agenda under President Joe Biden, who passed his first major initiative last month in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. more...

*** Mitch McConnell and Republicans have already used the scorched earth Senate policy when they obstructed everything Obama tried to do. ***

By Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett, CNN

(CNN) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a stark warning Tuesday about how Republicans would grind the chamber to a halt if Democrats changed the filibuster rules, leading to a "completely scorched earth Senate." The Kentucky Republican defended the 60-vote threshold on the legislative filibuster in a floor speech, cautioning Democrats that if they moved to change the rules of the filibuster, it would not open up an express lane for the Biden administration to push through their agenda. Instead, Republicans would use every rule and option at their disposal to halt the chamber, making the Senate "more like a 100-car pileup, nothing moving." Majority Whip Dick Durbin told reporters he's not concerned about McConnell's threats to slow the Senate if Democrats change the filibuster because "he has already done that." more...

Barbara Sprunt

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's draft proposal for a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling it "partisan by design." The Kentucky Republican said he agrees the siege on the Capitol warrants a "serious and thorough review," but said he thinks Pelosi's proposal falls short of the standard set by the commission established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, upon which Pelosi said she would model this new panel. "The 9/11 Commission was intentionally built to be bipartisan, 50-50 bipartisan split of the commissioners was a key feature," McConnell said Wednesday on the Senate floor. "It both helped the effectiveness of the investigation itself, and help give the whole country confidence in its work, and its recommendations." more...

Sen. Mitch McConnell indicated that he would be open to a commission narrowly focused on security on the Hill.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bid to create a broad bipartisan review of the Jan. 6 insurrection is in peril after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the proposal on Wednesday as “partisan by design.” McConnell rejected a draft version of Pelosi’s proposed commission that would give Democrats a 7-4 majority on the panel, and he said any large-scale review of the insurrection must also include an analysis of broader political violence — a nod to GOP complaints about a wave of riots across the country last summer that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Expanding the commission's mandate that way would likely spark significant Democratic resistance. more...

By Alex Gangitano

The war between former President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is likely to turn into a battle over money as Republican donors will be forced to choose between Trump-backed and GOP-establishment candidates. The fundraising rift could prove detrimental to Republicans, who are seeking to flip both the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. Trump blasted McConnell this week after the Senate GOP leader said Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6 riot. Trump vowed to back primary opponents who are more aligned with his base, setting up a battle over the future of the Republican party. Many Republican donors are avoiding taking sides publicly for now, but strategists see signs of things to come in 2022 and 2024. more...

By Jonathan Easley and Juliegrace Brufke

Allies of former President Trump say he’s determined to make life miserable for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Trump’s political machine, which has $60 million in a super PAC and an unmatched grass-roots fundraising apparatus, is vowing to go aggressively after GOP lawmakers in primaries in the wake of an unprecedented feud between the nation’s two most powerful Republicans. Trump was prepared to give McConnell a pass, sources in his orbit stated, after he gave a blistering post-impeachment floor speech saying the former president was “practically and morally” responsible for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that led to five deaths and the evacuation of Congress. more...

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin

We witnessed a historic confession of hypocrisy and deceit on Saturday when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went to the floor after voting to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s Senate impeachment trial. McConnell said, “Former President Trump’s actions [that] preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty.” He added, “Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” But McConnell said he couldn’t vote to convict because the trial had come too late, after Trump was out office — even though it was McConnell himself who had kept the Senate out for the remainder of Trump’s term. McConnell suggested that a criminal prosecution of Trump could be in the cards, a stunning confession of how he regards the seriousness of the allegations and the extent of the evidence. The only saving grace is that McConnell will be forever remembered as the one who intentionally let someone worthy of criminal investigation get away. more...

Senate minority leader says Trump ‘practically and morally responsible’ for Capitol riot, but votes not guilty regardless
Amanda Holpuch

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday that Donald Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January – minutes after voting to acquit the former president in his impeachment trial for that very same act. McConnell, like the Senators who voted in favor of impeachment, was deeply critical of Trump’s conduct leading up to the attack. “They [the mob] did this because they’d been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he lost an election,” McConnell said. But McConnell argued the Senate could not convict Trump because he had left office before the Senate trial began – a timeline McConnell orchestrated as Senate majority leader after refusing Democrats’ requests to call the Senate into an emergency session in January. The House impeached Trump for a second time in his final days in office, but McConnell delayed starting the Senate trial until after Joe Biden was sworn in. McConnell said the Senate was not meant to serve as a “moral tribunal” and said Trump could still be open to criminal prosecution. more...

***Republicans are still protecting Trump even after he attempted a coup and caused the sacking of the capitol of Untied State of American. ***

His announcement ends a long period of silence over whether he would consider convicting Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told GOP colleagues in a letter that he will vote to acquit Donald Trump in the former president's impeachment trial, according to sources familiar with the communication. McConnell's announcement ends a long period of silence over whether he would consider convicting Trump for incitement of insurrection and could pave the way for many other Republicans to follow in acquittal. The Kentuckian shared his decision in a note to fellow GOP senators on Saturday morning, ahead of what could be the final day of Trump’s second impeachment trial. “While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction,” McConnell wrote. That position puts McConnell in line with the votes he and 43 other GOP senators already cast, declaring Trump’s second trial unconstitutional. But the Republican leader, who has not spoken to Trump for weeks, suggested that criminal prosecution of the former president could be appropriate as a remedy following the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. more...

"Somebody who’s suggested that ... horrifying school shootings were pre-staged ... is not living in reality," the Senate minority leader said.
By Frank Thorp V and Phil Helsel

"Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday after questions about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality," McConnell said. McConnell, R-Ky., did not mention the Georgia representative by name, but his statement was released after NBC News asked about the controversial freshman lawmaker. "This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party," his statement said. Greene on Twitter seemed to respond, writing: "The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully. This is why we are losing our country." more...

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Jan. 13 announced to colleagues that he was open to voting to convict President Trump for inciting an insurrection, but since then he has taken steps behind the scenes to throttle the Democratic impeachment effort. On Tuesday, 45 GOP senators voted in support of a motion from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declaring Trump’s second impeachment trial unconstitutional on the grounds that Trump is no longer president. The vote made it clear that there will be no Senate conviction of Trump, since at least 17 GOP votes would be needed to secure the 67 votes necessary in a 50-50 Senate. “Just do the math,” Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of five Republicans to oppose Paul’s motion, remarked to reporters after the vote. McConnell was described by associates as “furious” over the mob attack on the Capitol, and he has continued to say he will keep an open mind to legal arguments presented during the trial. It seems clear he is more than open to the party moving on from Trump, particularly after the former president was widely blamed for the GOP losing two runoff elections in Georgia that cost it the Senate majority. more...

David Nir Daily Kos Staff

After caving on his demands that Democrats pledge, in writing, never to disturb the filibuster, Sen. Mitch McConnell descended into a series of increasingly histrionic threats to blockade the agenda that Americans just elected Joe Biden to implement. Among those threats was a warning that Republicans could prevent the Senate from operating by simply not showing up for work, which would deny Majority Leader Chuck Schumer the quorum necessary to carry out any business. That’s a dangerous move, but not for the reason McConnell wants us to think. The reason it’s such a huge risk is that any Republican who tries this stunt could, quite literally, find themselves arrested and physically hauled back into the Senate chamber by law enforcement agents to do their jobs. And it’s not just theoretical. It’s happened before. But first, a little background. more...

*** Mitch McConnell is the leader of the obstruction party. ***

By Doyle McManus Washington Columnist

In the first days after a mob invaded the Capitol to try to halt President Biden’s election, a welcome wave of bipartisan anger rippled through Washington. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate, condemned the riot as an assault on democracy, accused former President Trump of provoking the mob and even said he would consider voting to convict Trump in an impeachment trial. But if the Kentucky senator seemed for a moment to be embracing Biden’s call for unity, it didn’t stick. In Week One of the Biden presidency, McConnell opted for a more familiar pursuit: partisan combat. As the price of a routine agreement to organize the Senate, he demanded that Democratic leader Charles E. Schumer renounce a major goal of his party’s progressive wing, the end of the filibuster rule. more...

By Michael Warren and Jamie Gangel, CNN

Washington (CNN) As the House prepares to send articles of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, CNN has learned that dozens of influential Republicans around Washington -- including former top Trump administration officials -- have been quietly lobbying GOP members of Congress to impeach and convict Donald Trump. The effort is not coordinated but reflects a wider battle inside the GOP between those loyal to Trump and those who want to sever ties and ensure he can never run for President again. The lobbying started in the House after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and in the days leading up to impeachment. But it's now more focused on Sen. Mitch McConnell, the powerful minority leader who has signaled he may support convicting Trump. "Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone," one Republican member of Congress told CNN. "It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, do we get there?" McConnell had proposed delaying the trial until February, but with the articles coming to the Senate on Monday, the process will likely be set in motion sooner. It would take 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in order to convict. While the bar is high, some GOP sources think there is more of an appetite to punish the former President than is publicly apparent. "There were 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment. There were probably over 150 who supported it," said Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman and CNN contributor. more...

By Jordain Carney

Democrats are shooting down an effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to include protections for the legislative filibuster as part of a Senate power-sharing deal. "We’re not going to give him what he wishes. If you did that then there would be just unbridled use of it. I mean nothing holding him back," said Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, on Thursday. McConnell has urged Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include a preservation of the 60-vote legislative filibuster in any deal they strike on how to organize an evenly split 50-50 Senate, a request that is threatening to drag out their talks and keep much of the Senate in limbo for several more days. McConnell, according to Durbin, wanted to include in the Senate's rules a guarantee that there would be no effort to pursue the "nuclear option" — changing the rules with a simple majority rather than the higher 60- or 67-vote threshold — during the next two years, or as long as the 50-50 split lasted. more...

Pelosi earlier said she’ll send impeachment article ‘soon,' which would trigger the start of the trial.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to give former President Donald Trump two weeks to prepare his legal case for his impeachment trial, according to sources familiar with the matter. McConnell told Republican senators that he would propose to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the former president have until early-February to prepare his case, according to three people briefed on a conference call Thursday. The discussion of a two-week delay comes as congressional leaders attempt to work out details of Trump’s second impeachment trial, including the former president’s defense against the House’s charges that he incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month. more...

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office told Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) staff on Wednesday that the GOP will not agree to reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to allow an impeachment trial while President Trump is still in office. A senior Senate Republican aide confirmed that McConnell’s office reached out to Schumer’s office to relay the message that Republicans will not agree to a Friday session to enable House Democrats to present an article of impeachment to the Senate while Trump is in office. McConnell said in a memo circulated to colleagues last week that the Senate will not be able to handle business on the floor until senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 19 unless all 100 senators agree to reconvene sooner. more...

By Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country. At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.

While Mr. McCarthy has said he is personally opposed to impeachment, he and other party leaders have decided not to formally lobby Republicans to vote “no,” and an aide to Mr. McCarthy said he was open to a measure censuring Mr. Trump for his conduct. In private, Mr. McCarthy reached out to a leading House Democrat to see if the chamber would be willing to pursue a censure vote, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ruled it out. Taken together, the stances of Congress’s two top Republicans — neither of whom has said publicly that Mr. Trump should resign or be impeached — reflected the politically challenging and fast-moving nature of the crisis that the party faces in the wake of the assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s electoral victory. more...

CNBC.com staff

This is CNBC’s live blog covering the latest news on the U.S. Capitol riot, calls for Trump’s impeachment, and the Biden transition. More than 200 lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives are now calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office in the wake of a mob attack on Congress that left at least 5 people dead including a police officer. Though calls for Trump’s removal are growing, either through impeachment or the 25 Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, time is short with less than two weeks to go until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. It’s also unclear whether there is enough Republican support to execute such a move. Vice President Mike Pence is said to oppose ousting Trump with the 25 Amendment, a process that would require majority support from the president’s Cabinet. And so far, no Republican in the Senate has openly backed a second impeachment of Trump. more...

Sonam Sheth

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never wants to speak to President Donald Trump again following a violent insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported. The president has been accused of inciting the riots by urging his supporters at a rally Wednesday "to fight" and march to the Capitol, where Congress was counting electoral votes and finalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the November election.

Trump has spent months spinning bogus conspiracy theories about voter fraud and election-rigging, while falsely insisting the race was "stolen" from him and that he is the rightful winner. At Wednesday's rally, the president reiterated those claims, adding, "We will never concede," as his supporters cheered. Throngs of them subsequently stormed the US Capitol, clashed with police, broke into the building, ransacked lawmakers' offices, and made it as far as the House and Senate floor. more...

Ben Tobin Louisville Courier Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Louisville home was vandalized early Saturday morning following his blocking of $2,000 stimulus checks to most Americans. Messages like "where's my money" and other expletives were written with spray paint across the front door and bricks of the Kentucky Republican's Highlands residence. McConnell said in a statement Saturday morning that “I’ve spent my career fighting for the First Amendment and defending peaceful protest. I appreciate every Kentuckian who has engaged in the democratic process whether they agree with me or not." “This is different," he continued. "Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society." He concluded: “My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.” more...

By Phil Mattingly, CNN

(CNN) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation Tuesday to combine two additional demands from President Donald Trump to an expansion of direct stimulus payments as part of the Covid-19 relief package, raising Democratic concern the pathway for expanded stimulus payments would soon be short-circuited. The Kentucky Republican, shortly before adjourning the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, introduced a bill that would combine increased direct payments with a repeal of the online liability protections known as Section 230 and the establishment of a commission to study voter fraud. The latter two issues have been significant drivers of Trump's ire in the wake of his general election loss -- the latter of which with zero evidence presented to this point. While the move doesn't guarantee McConnell will bring the bill up for a vote, it provides a substantive option should time -- and the political winds -- press the chamber in that direction. It's also one that would be all but certain to fail to garner the votes for passage. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the bill a "cynical gambit" and said it would serve as "a blatant attempt" to ensure the $2,000 direct payments were not signed into law. more...

By Jacob Jarvis

President Donald Trump dismissed Sen. Mitch McConnell's congratulations of President-elect Joe Biden following the Electoral College vote, telling the Senate Majority Leader it is "too soon to give up." The Kentucky Republican had acknowledged Biden as the presidential election victor on Tuesday in a floor speech. In a message to McConnell, shared on Twitter, Trump referenced his popular vote tally and said: "Mitch, 75,000,000 VOTES, a record for a sitting President (by a lot). Too soon to give up. Republican Party must finally learn to fight. People are angry!" In the same tweet, the president shared an article about Trump allies criticizing McConnell. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, had said: "Many of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on January 20. The Electoral College has spoken. more...

McConnell warns Senate Republicans against challenging election results
His guidance comes one day after the Electoral College officially affirmed Biden's win.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Republican senators Tuesday during a private caucus call not to object to the election results on January 6, according to two sources familiar with the matter. McConnell told his caucus that challenging the results would force Republicans to take a “terrible vote” because they would need to vote it down and appear against President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also echoed McConnell’s remarks.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said that no one objected on the call to McConnell encouraging members to accept the election results. "There wasn’t any pushback to it," she said. "There’s wasn’t anyone saying: oh wait a minute. That didn’t occur." McConnell’s advice comes one day after the Electoral College officially voted for Joe Biden as the president-elect. The Kentucky Republican acknowledged for the first time that Biden will be the next president in his floor remarks Tuesday. more...

Mia Jankowicz

Rep. Katie Porter launched a blistering attack on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Twitter on Tuesday, slamming his insistence in COVID-19 stimulus negotiations on corporate liability protections. "Everyone at the negotiating table—including Senate Rs—has agreed to a compromise. Except one," she wrote in a Twitter thread, which as of Wednesday had been shared more than 50,000 times. "Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all COVID-related lawsuits filed that 'allege injury or death' due to corporate negligence," she wrote. "These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life," she added. You can click on the tweet below to read Porter's full thread. more...

By Brendan Cole

The latest ads by the Lincoln Project have taken aim at President Donald Trump's claims the election was marred by fraud and portrayed the Georgia Senate runoff in January as essentially a vote on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A 44-second video released by the anti-Trump group of Republicans shows the attorney Lin Wood, who backs Trump's unsubstantiated claims of fraud, addressing a crowd at a so-called "Stop the Steal" rally in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday. The clip starts with Wood wearing a "Make America Great Again" cap telling a cheering crowd that Trump "knows he won this election."

"He said, 'Lin, I didn't lose it, I won it,'" Wood said, as the words "he didn't" flash across the screen. Wood goes on to tell the crowd, "Don't you ever concede Mr. President, you won this election. America voted for you, stay in the White House." A caption then appears saying: "Donald Trump lost by 7 million votes. He still refuses to concede. This is not normal." At the rally, Wood had also tried to cast doubt on whether conservative votes would be secured in the runoff election which takes place on January 5, with early voting starting December 14. The battle between Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue against Democrat challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively, will determine who controls the U.S. Senate. Wood told the crowd: "Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election." more...

By Jacob Jarvis

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) faces criticism over suggesting a bipartisan proposal on further stimulus is a waste of time, after detailing a plan of his own and insisting the priority is something President Donald Trump will back. It has been more than eight months since the last major COVID-19 relief package, the CARES Act, was signed by the president. A prolonged stalemate in attempting to secure a follow-up continues.

A group including Republican and Democrat lawmakers unveiled a $908 billion compromise proposal on Tuesday, in a bid to breach the impasse. Asked about this pitch at a news conference, and the need for the House to pass something as well as the president to sign it, McConnell said: "We just don't have time to waste time. We have a couple of weeks left here. Obviously, it does require bipartisan support to get out of the Congress but it requires a presidential signature. more...

Jacob Pramuk

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a proposed bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package Tuesday amid months of congressional inaction on curbing the economic damage from the outbreak. The Kentucky Republican, who has supported about $500 billion in new aid spending, said he wants to pass what he called a “targeted relief bill” this year. McConnell said he spoke to White House officials about what President Donald Trump would sign into law. He plans to offer potential solutions to GOP senators and get their feedback.

“We just don’t have time to waste time,” he told reporters in response to the roughly $908 billion plan put together by bipartisan members of the GOP-controlled Senate and Democratic-held House. McConnell said a must-pass spending bill and pandemic relief provisions will “all likely come in one package.” Congress needs to approve funding legislation by Dec. 11 to avoid a government shutdown. more...

By Aris Folley

Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said in a new documentary that the Republican leader urged President Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on the night Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. Holmes, who previously served as chief of staff to McConnell from 2010 to 2013, made the comments in a new "Frontline" documentary premiering Tuesday. The project, dubbed “Supreme Revenge: Battle for the Court,” will look at how the nation’s highest court has transformed over the years.

According to an excerpt from the documentary, McConnell contacted Trump shortly after Ginsburg’s death on Friday, Sept. 18. “McConnell told [Trump] two things,” Holmes said. “McConnell said, 'First, I’m going to put out a statement that says we’re going to fill the vacancy.' Second, he said, 'You’ve gotta nominate Amy Coney Barrett.'” The Hill has reached out to McConnell’s office for comment. After Ginsburg's death, reports emerged that the late judge said just days before that her “most fervent wish” is her seat not be filled before a new president takes office. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed," her granddaughter said the judge said in a statement. Eight days after the death of Ginsburg, Trump nominated Barrett to fill the liberal justice’s seat on the court. more...

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday launched a new attack on Democratic demands that any coronavirus stimulus bill includes help for states and localities whose revenues have bottomed out due to the pandemic. “Democrats still want coronavirus relief for the entire country held hostage over a massive slush fund for their own use,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. President-elect Joe Biden, though, endorsed federal assistance to states and localities as part of the next stimulus bill.

Biden emerged from a meeting Monday with corporate chief executives and labor union presidents by saying that the group agreed “on the urgent need for funding for states and cities to keep front-line and essential workers on the job and vital public services running — law enforcement officers, educators, first responders." When Biden was vice president, federal aid to state governments was a key component of the $787 billion stimulus law enacted in 2009 in response to the Great Recession. It accounted for 42% of the package, or $330 billion, according to the California State Legislature’s fiscal and policy analysis office.

A refusal to support the assistance this time likely would doom any new legislation. Aid to state and local governments, whose tax revenues have plummeted due to the pandemic-induced economic downturn, has been a non-negotiable demand of House and Senate Democrats. more...

The Kentucky senator revels in the nickname the Grim Reaper and tried to frustrate the previous Democratic president at every turn
Julian Borger in Washington

After celebrating the winning of a Joe Biden presidency, Democrats are waking to the hangover of figuring out how to govern under the shadow of a runaway pandemic and the potential for gridlock imposed by the man who likes to call himself the Grim Reaper, the Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell.

The imagined “blue wave” that was to bring Democratic control over the Senate did not materialize, but Biden’s party has not entirely given up hope. There will be two Senate run-off races in Georgia on 5 January, and if Democrats win both, that will scrape a 50-50 tie in the chamber, allowing Kamala Harris, as vice-president, to cast tie-breaking votes.

It is not impossible. Voter registration drives look to have succeeded in turning the state blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992. But it will be an uphill task, and most Georgia observers expect the parties to emerge from the runoffs with one seat apiece, leaving the Senate split 51-49 in the Republicans’ favor.

In that case, a Biden presidency would have to contend with the veteran senator from Kentucky who relishes the nickname of Grim Reaper for his lethal treatment of almost all Democratic legislation. He said in 2010 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”.

McConnell failed in that task but made up for it by killing off mounds of Democratic legislation and Obama nominations for administrative positions. So despite winning more votes than anyone in US political history, Biden will have to share power with the head of a chamber in which Wyoming (population 586,107) has the same clout as California (nearly 40 million). more...

Roger Sollenberger, Salon

As a stream of key swing state votes begins to turn the election in presidential nominee Joe Biden's favor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wasted no time in signaling that he would block potential progressive nominees for Cabinet positions if the GOP keeps its grip on the upper chamber. A source close to the majority leader told Axios that a Republican-controlled Senate would work with Biden to confirm centrist nominees but reject so-called "radical progressives" or other individuals who rankle conservatives. The source said Republicans would do all they could to limit a Biden agenda, adding: "It's going to be armed camps." After expressing confidence in an eventual electoral victory on Wednesday, the Biden campaign quietly launched a website for its transition team. The site posted a message telling Americans that while the vote counts were not over, the transition team would continue its preparations so "the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One." more...

By Nicholas GoldbergColumnist

So now it is official: The same Republican senators who in 2016 refused to consider Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court because, with eight months to go, it was supposedly too close to the presidential election, have now confirmed Amy Coney Barrett with just eight days left before the election. This is so unprincipled, so inconsistent and so cynical that it defies the imagination. It is the flip-flop of the century, undertaken by the Republicans for one reason: Barrett’s confirmation ensures a conservative majority on the high court for the foreseeable future.

But here is one good thing that could come of this shameful episode. With millions of people still casting their votes before Nov. 3, perhaps the Barrett confirmation will open Americans’ eyes, once and for all, and show them who they’re dealing with. Perhaps it will persuade them to reject the radical and hypocritical Senate Republicans at the polls.

Barrett’s confirmation, after all, is only one of many irresponsible moves by the Senate majority, led by the craven Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who long ago threw his lot in with President Trump. In recent years, he and his caucus have grown not just more extreme in their ideology but more unscrupulous in their tactics.

Not only did they refuse a hearing to Garland (giving that seat instead to Trump appointee Neil M. Gorsuch), but not long after, McConnell and his colleagues rammed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination through without a comprehensive investigation of the sexual assault allegations against him. The Senate majority also slow-walked the confirmation of lower court judges during the final years of the Obama administration — and then sped them up when Trump came into office. The Senate majority ignored evidence, disregarded facts and refused to hear additional witnesses before acquitting Trump in a half-baked impeachment trial in February, thereby giving the imprimatur of the upper house to the president’s high crimes and misdemeanors. more...

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became a topic of speculation after photographs seemingly showed his hands looking bruised and discolored.
David Mikkelson

On Oct. 21, 2020, social media users began circulating an image said to show the hands of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, with those appendages looking unusually — and alarmingly — dark and mottled: more...

It turns out not even a shiny Supreme Court supermajority can hide the problems Trump’s party has caused Americans.
By Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist and senior advisor to the Lincoln Project

Looks like Sen. Mitch McConnell got it wrong — again. And this time it could cost him the Senate majority. Republicans initially thought that a fast appointment of a conservative justice would help them in battleground states. After all, nothing rallies the conservative base like a Supreme Court appointment. However, given the likelihood of confirmation, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to confirm Amy Coney Barrett turned out to be fairly uneventful and relatively drama-free. Most importantly for Democrats, they have not taken America’s focus off the coronavirus.

The reality on the ground is that the virus has not gone away, and there are spikes across the Midwest and elsewhere. Suddenly, McConnell is interested in passing some kind of Covid-19 relief package again. That the majority leader would realize the political importance of this pivot isn’t surprising. That the members of his own party aren’t pushing harder for it is. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who recently tested positive for Covid-19, said he would wear “a moon suit” to the Senate so he could vote to confirm Barrett as a Supreme Court justice. It was a “joke” devoid of both humor and empathy. more...

By Emily Singer

McConnell has blocked everything from legislation to help unemployed workers to a bipartisan background check bill for gun sales. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made pushing through Donald Trump's judicial nominees almost his singular focus of the past two years, confirming Trump's court picks at a rapid clip while blocking a slew of bills the Democratic-controlled House has passed.

Now, less than six weeks before the presidential election, McConnell has vowed to ram through a Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — prioritizing filling the seat over helping Americans struggling to find work in the midst of the coronavirus-fueled economic depression.

Back in February 2016, when conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, McConnell refused to give President Barack Obama's nominee Judge Merrick Garland a hearing, let alone a vote on the Senate floor. McConnell said a justice should not be confirmed in an election year, and that the next president should get to pick the nominee. more...

Republicans find success in remaking the federal judiciary as more conservative, white and male under the Trump presidency.
By Leigh Ann Caldwell and Sahil Kapur

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday reached a significant milestone during the Trump presidency by filling the final vacancy on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, an achievement that fulfills his goal of remaking the federal judiciary as more conservative for a generation but also one that is less diverse. McConnell, who has vowed to “leave no vacancy behind,” heralded the achievement on the Senate floor Wednesday, noting that there hasn’t been a fully appointed Circuit Court in decades.

“When we depart this chamber today, there will not be a single Circuit Court vacancy anywhere in the nation for the first time in at least 40 years,” McConnell said. “Our work with the administration to renew our federal courts is not a partisan or political victory. It's a victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution itself.” The conservative shift of the court under President Donald Trump and McConnell is not just ideological — the federal courts have also become younger, more white and more male. Nearly 76 percent of the judicial confirmations under Trump are men compared with 58 percent during President Barack Obama’s tenure, according to data collected by the American Constitution Society. more...

Russell Wheeler

Senate Republicans’ decision to vote on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor reflects individual and collective cost-benefit calculations of seating a rock-ribbed conservative in what may be the Trump administration’s waning days. As a fig leaf to obscure the hypocrisy of voting on President Trump’s election-year nominee after refusing to vote on President Obama’s in early 2016, Republicans have claimed an historical norm that doesn’t exist.

The GOP Senate’s initial claim
In March 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to justify denying a vote on Obama’s nomination of DC Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia: “All we are doing is following the long-standing tradition of not fulfilling a nomination in the middle of a presidential year.”

There is no such tradition. The table shows the nine Supreme Court vacancies in place during election years in the Court’s post-Civil War era—once Congress stabilized the Court’s membership at nine and the justices largely stopped serving as trial judges in the old circuit courts. Those nine election-year vacancies (out of over 70 in the period) were all filled in the election year—one by a 1956 uncontested recess appointment and eight by Senate confirmation.

The GOP Senate’s revised claim
Last year, given the lack of any “long-standing tradition” but anticipating the possibility of an election-year vacancy, McConnell fabricated a different history to justify treating a Trump nominee differently from Obama’s. He argued that “[y]ou have to go back to … 1880s to find the last time … a Senate of a different party from the president filled a Supreme Court vacancy created in the middle of a presidential election. That was entirely the precedent.” When that anticipation became reality with the death of Justice Ginsburg, he offered a slightly different excuse: “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year”. A National Review article claimed a norm: “when their party controls the Senate, presidents get to fill Supreme Court vacancies . . . [but] when the opposite party controls the Senate, the Senate gets to block Supreme Court nominees . . .”. more...

The Thurmond Rule that previously cut off confirmations likely a relic
By Chris Cioffi

A ghost from the old Senate that haunts the chamber’s judicial confirmation fights seems to be disappearing from the floor this year — and might be fading away for good. At about this time during presidential election years, senators have invoked the so-called Thurmond Rule, an unwritten agreement that calls for the chamber to stop approving circuit court nominations in the few months before Election Day.

Named after the late South Carolina Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond, senators from both sides have used it to block action on a president’s appeals court picks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, cited the rule on June 13, 2012, as reason to halt judicial nominations at the end of President Barack Obama’s first term. McConnell was minority leader at the time.

But there’s nary a whisper of the Thurmond Rule this year. And thanks to Senate rule changes and McConnell’s focus on filling the courts with President Donald Trump’s nominees, the old rule looks like it will be ignored. On Wednesday, McConnell teed up the nomination of his protégé Justin Walker for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate will likely take up the controversial nomination early next week.

The demise of the 60-vote filibuster for nominees means Democrats — who might be tempted to cite the Thurmond Rule in June — cannot stop a majority leader who has pledged to “leave no vacancy behind.” And if a precedent like that is set by McConnell in an election year, it’s likely the Thurmond Rule is gone for good. more...

Shalini Nagarajan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't risk his position by forcing through a stimulus bill now, because he expects President Donald Trump to lose next month's election, Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a webinar on Thursday. "I think McConnell expects Trump to lose, and therefore, for him to spend political capital to support Trump by forcing through a bill which would put his own leadership position at risk after the election, to me, doesn't make any sense," Shepherdson said.

"It's always wise to do things from McConnell's personal perspective, because that's how things operate in the Senate. He has enormous personal power, and he wants to be leader again — even if he has to be a leader in the minority," he said, alluding to the potential that Democrats could win a majority in the Senate next month. House Democrats have put forward a $2.2 trillion plan, but McConnell has described it as "outlandish" and said the amount was too high. more...

Joseph Zeballos-Roig

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Kentucky on Thursday he wouldn't put a coronavirus relief bill negotiated between the White House and Democrats up for a vote on the Senate floor, effectively torpedoing a deal. During a campaign appearance, McConnell was asked whether he believed a compromise was possible in the realm between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, the price tags under consideration.

"I don't think so… That's where the administration's willing to go," he said.  "My members think what we laid out, a half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go. So that's what I'm gonna put on the floor. " McConnell referred to the ongoing negotiations between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a stimulus package. "That's not what I'm gonna put on the floor," he said. more...


Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell debated Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, over coronavirus relief and the Supreme Court. video...

New Day

CNN's John Avlon examine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's history of obstructing judicial nominees. Source: CNN. video...

Amy McGrath says Senate majority leader focused on supreme court nominee rather than ‘helping America through crisis’
Martin Pengelly in New York

Criticised by challenger Amy McGrath in a debate Monday night for blocking a new coronavirus relief bill, Mitch McConnell laughed. “Trying to figure out what he is laughing about,” tweeted Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic senator from Missouri who now works for NBC News. Nearly 7.8m coronavirus cases and almost 215,000 deaths have been recorded in the US. Amid devastating economic fallout, Congress has not passed a relief package since May, when the Democratic-held House passed a $3tn bill the Republican Senate did not take up. Donald Trump recently dynamited negotiations, which he then tried to restart.

McGrath and McConnell met to debate in Lexington during a rise in cases in Kentucky. The Democrat has raised impressive sums and stayed in touch in the polls – though victory remains unlikely. “The House passed a bill in May and this Senate went on vacation,” McGrath said. As McConnell chuckled, she continued: “I mean, you just don’t do that. You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis, you knew that the coronavirus wasn’t gonna end at the end of July. We knew that.”

As McConnell tried to interrupt, still chuckling, McGrath said: “If you want to call yourself a leader … you got to get things done and those of us who served in the Marines, we don’t just point fingers at the other side. We get the job done.” McConnell blamed the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, saying: “Look, I know how to make deals. I made three major deals with Joe Biden during the Obama era. What the problem is here is the unwillingness of the speaker to make a deal.” more...

Los Angeles Times Opinion

To the editor: I find it laughable that suddenly the Republicans in Congress are developing a conscience, after more than three years of enabling President Trump running ripshod over our democracy. Any fair-minded observer can easily see how they have been willing accomplices. ("As Trump's fortunes sink, Republicans start to distance themselves in bid to save Senate," Oct. 9) The statement by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that his party needs to remain in power as a "firewall to stop the Democrats" is a brazen expression of his own hypocrisy, after refusing to pass hundreds of bills sent by the House and gloating about it. more...

Claire O. Finkelstein and Richard W. Painter

Before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's body had been laid to rest, President Donald Trump had announced his choice of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat. Barrett's confirmation hearing begins Monday, less than two weeks after Ginsburg's burial and a scant three weeks prior to the election. The contrast between the two women could not be starker. The "Notorious RBG" was a champion of civil rights, a leader in the fight for women's equality and a beacon of hope for so many across the United States. Barrett, by contrast, is a "handmaiden" of the Christian right, a vocal opponent of abortion and, from all appearances, a proponent of extreme positions opposing gun safety laws.

The rush to confirm Barrett so close to a presidential election is an undignified exercise in McConnellian power politics, though an unsurprising one, given what is at stake for the GOP, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell personally. But the Republicans should think twice before proceeding with this full-scale assault on the confirmation process. In particular, there is still an underlying question of principle that it would behoove them, and the country, to pause to resolve: In a presidential election year, particularly toward the end of that year, should the Senate hold hearings and vote on nominations for the high court? Or should it wait until after the election and allow the new president to select the next justice?

By Ted Barrett and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) Republican leaders took steps Wednesday to protect their vulnerable senators ahead of an unusual vote that will put them on the record about whether they support the Trump administration's push to have the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The GOP move is a clear response to the rare effort by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to seize the floor and force a vote requiring them to make a choice: Support a lawsuit backed by President Donald Trump or side with the law protecting people with pre-existing conditions, which has emerged as a central theme in the battle for control of the Senate and the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a procedural vote on a Republican bill -- authored by vulnerable North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis -- that they say would maintain the protections for pre-existing conditions should the Supreme Court toss out the ACA. That would give GOP senators something they can point to as evidence they want to continue those protections and also allow them to vote against and defeat the Democratic bill Thursday. The Tillis measure stalled Wednesday night on a strictly party line vote, 47 to 47, with Democrats voting against it and Republicans voting to advance it. While Democrats couldn't get the 51 votes required to kill the bill, it ultimately isn't going anywhere. It would need 60 votes to pass, which it would not be able to get in the narrowly divided chamber where the GOP has a 53-47 edge. More...

By Manu Raju and Ted Barrett, CNN

(CNN) Sen. Cory Gardner was blunt in 2016 about why he thought a Supreme Court seat should stay vacant despite then-President Barack Obama's demand to fill it. "The next election is too soon, and the stakes too high," Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, said in March of that year. Asked on Wednesday about his 2016 comments, amid President Donald Trump's effort to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat less than two months before an election, Gardner didn't answer when approached by CNN. "If you didn't see my statement, I'll send it to you," Gardner, battling to keep his seat for a second term, said as he got on a senators-only elevator. That statement, however, said nothing about his past position, instead noting that if a qualified nominee he supports comes forward now: "I will vote to confirm."

As Senate Republicans and the White House race to fill a Supreme Court seat following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many have struggled to reconcile their support for confirming Trump's nomination on the eve of an election with their steadfast opposition to even considering the nomination made by a Democratic President eight months prior to Election Day. Party leaders are pointing to the different partisan makeup in Washington, arguing it's normal to confirm a nominee when the same party controls both the Senate and the White House and not the norm in an election year with divided government like in 2016. More...

David Von Drehle

“The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run,” declared the self-destructive Captain Ahab, concerning his pursuit of Moby Dick. The elusive white whale of Republican politics is abortion rights. For nearly 50 years, over oceans of campaign speeches and seas of television ads, GOP candidates have promised to fill the Supreme Court with enough harpooners to slay the beast.

With the chance to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer of women’s rights, mere weeks before a presidential election, the Republican Ahabs are lowering boats and putting their backs into one more try. Four years ago, they used their Senate majority to preserve a 5-to-4 conservative advantage on the court by blocking President Barack Obama’s pick in the final year of his second term. Now they spy the chance to grab a 6-to-3 margin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) might want to flip ahead to the final chapters to see how this story ends. Or I could just tell him: Ahab is last seen being dragged by the whale into the fatal briny. One of three things could come of this. Cooler heads might prevail — but what’s the chance of that these days? The other two alternatives both bristle with disaster for the GOP. More...

CNN Digital Expansion DC Manu Raju
By Manu Raju, Senior Congressional Correspondent

Washington, DC (CNN)Senate Democrats, lacking votes to stop President Donald Trump's pick to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat, are weighing an array of tactics to battle back -- ranging from bringing the chamber to a screeching halt this year to pushing legislation to expand the court if they win the majority in the fall. Democrats began discussing their options on Saturday, with senators all vowing a furious fight to keep the seat vacant until next year when a new Senate convenes and when Joe Biden may occupy the White House. And while no specific course of action was detailed, Democrats said they were united on this: They planned to engage in an all-out battle to stop the nomination in its tracks by pressuring four Republicans to break ranks.

"Mitch McConnell believes that this fight is over. What Mitch McConnell does not understand is this fight has just begun," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, speaking at a Ginsburg vigil on Saturday. First, Democrats want to stop the nomination, and they are considering taking unusual steps to bottle up all business in the Senate to drag out the proceedings as long as possible, senators said. Under the rules, which require the chamber to operate by unanimous consent, Democrats can object to routine business of the day and essentially ground the chamber to a halt. More...

By Khaleda Rahman

More than 100 protesters gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky home on Saturday to decry the push to quickly fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. Democrats have accused Republicans of hypocrisy, saying they should follow the precedent set by GOP legislators in 2016 when they refused to consider President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland in the run-up to the 2016 election.

In a statement issued late on Friday night, McConnell vowed to call a vote for President Donald Trump's nominee—despite the 2020 presidential election being just six weeks away. The following day, protesters lined the streets in front of McConnell's home in the Belknap neighborhood of Louisville to decry the move, The Louisville Courier Journal reported. Protesters chanted "Hey hey, ho ho, Mitch McConnell has got to go" and "Ruth sent us." Some brandished signs saying "hypocrite" and "Ditch Mitch." More...

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