TRACK RECORD

Why Mitch has to go

Mitch McConnell has a long history of trying to gut, or even privatize, programs that millions rely on like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, calling them “entitlements.”

In 2005, McConnell tried to help ram through President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. “I spent a year trying to get any Democrat in the Senate… to help us,” Mitch has said publicly of his previous attempts to effectively eliminate Social Security.

After passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and the ultra-wealthy and signing off on a $675 billion dollar defense budget in 2017, Mitch McConnell said that he believes the only way to lower the federal deficit is to cut programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Despite the deficit having increased more than 77 percent since he became majority leader in 2015, Mitch McConnell insists that America’s rising debt is “not a Republican problem.”

“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” Mitch told Bloomberg in October 2018. “It’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt… the three big entitlement programs that are very popular, Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid… There’s been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully, at some point here, we’ll get serious about this.”

As majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell has made it his near-singular focus to confirm right-wing, conservative justices to the courts at every level — including the United States Supreme Court. By obstructing Obama’s nominations and then changing long-standing rules and tradition, Mitch has politicized the courts and been able to ram an unprecedented number of conservative judicial nominees onto the courts during his time as majority leader.

Until Obama’s presidency in 2009, the Senate used to approve district court judicial nominees in groups as a way to allow efficiency. But when Obama became president, McConnell instead insisted on confirming his nominees one-by-one, slowing down the process and creating over 100 vacancies on the federal courts in less than 2 years.

Once Republicans took back the Senate, and Mitch became majority leader in 2015, he ensured that judicial confirmations came to a screeching halt — confirming just over 25% of President Obama’s nominees and the lowest number since Harry Truman.

Mitch McConnell’s crowning jewel, however, was when, just one hour after Antonin Scalia’s death was confirmed, Mitch issued a statement saying that he would refuse to allow President Obama to fill the seat — even though there were 11 months left in Obama’s presidency. Later, McConnell bragged, “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’”

All of Mitch McConnell’s obstruction on Obama’s nominees meant that by the time Donald Trump took office, there was not just an open Supreme Court seat, but also 107 other vacancies that Trump could immediately fill.

After Trump was elected, Mitch told his chief of staff, “We are going to move judges like they are on a conveyor belt.” Since then, he has prioritized filling judicial vacancies with right-wing judges above all else in the Senate. The best example of this was when, despite credible accusations of sexual assault by multiple women, McConnell rammed Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court, where he will sit for decades to come.

Mitch McConnell has enabled all of Donald Trump’s worst desires and policies. From children being separate from their families at the border to Donald Trump’s border wall and attempted Muslim ban, Mitch has refused to stand up to the Trump administration.

Despite hurting thousands of Kentucky farmers and families, Mitch McConnell has supported Trump’s disastrous trade wars with China and our allies. And Mitch McConnell supported and voted for every one of Trump’s cabinet nominees, with the sole exception of his wife Elaine Chao when he voted “present.”

When it’s mattered most, Mitch McConnell has never stood up to Donald Trump and instead served as his Enabler-in-Chief.

Mitch McConnell has done nothing to address climate change. Instead, he has insisted that he can’t know if climate change is real because he’s “not a scientist.”

During his last reelection campaign in 2014, Mitch told reporters that he wouldn’t talk about limiting carbon emissions because “nobody else is going to do that.” Instead, when he was asked what would need to happen in order to convince him that climate change is an existential threat, he said, “I’m not a scientist. I am interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy. I’m interested in having low cost electricity.”

It should be no surprise, however. According to Open Secrets, Mitch McConnell has taken over $4.4 million in direct campaign contributions from the oil, gas, coal, and fossil fuel industries.

Mitch McConnell has completely sold out to the NRA and the gun lobby. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mitch has taken $1,261,874 in blood money from the NRA. And they have gotten their money’s worth.

In 2013, after the tragedy in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary, Mitch McConnell led a filibuster against common-sense gun measures including expanding background checks for gun purchasers, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

Since then, there have been nearly 2,000 mass shootings according to a study by Vox, and not only has McConnell done nothing, but he has even begun to say that there is nothing that he or Congress could ever do to prevent gun violence.

“I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do,” McConnell said in 2018. “You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don’t think we could do that from Washington… It’s a darn shame that’s where we are.”

Mitch McConnell has consistently put party and partisan politics before country.

Weeks before the 2016 election, as the Obama administration learned more and more about what Russia was doing to interfere in our presidential election, administration officials asked the leaders of Congress to make a public, united statement against Russia’s interference. But Mitch McConnell refused to sign on, questioning the legitimacy of the intelligence and saying he would consider “any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

Then in 2017 and 2018, even as Trump was privately considering trying to fire Robert Mueller multiple times, Mitch McConnell refused to bring a bill protecting the special counsel to the Senate floor for a vote – despite strong bipartisan support. And when there were attempts for the Senate to launch a legitimate investigation of its own, Mitch put an end to it.

Not only did Mitch McConnell endorse Donald Trump for president in 2016, but even after the infamous Access Hollywood tape came out, he did not call on Trump to step aside unlike many of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. Mitch shamelessly continued this trend in 2017 when he continued to support Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore even after he was credibly accused by several women of sexual misconduct when they were underage girls. When he was asked if the allegations had any impact on his support for Moore, McConnell simply said, “There’s been no change of heart.”