ICYMI: Leader McConnell on The Guy Benson Show
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined the Guy Benson radio show this afternoon. See below for highlights or click here to listen to the interview.
On the “laundry list of deplorable ideas” in S.1:
“So they call it a voting rights bill but here’s what it is, a partisan takeover of the Federal Election Commission which has been 3:3 for over half a century so that neither other party can take advantage of each other. The Federal Election Commission is the agency that polices the political environment. So they want to turn that from a judge into a prosecutor controlled by the president.
In addition to that, tax payer funding of elections. For all small donations you get, the government would send you six dollars. Well my goodness. I think a candidate for the Senate in California would probably get a couple hundred million dollars from the tax payers to run.
“There’s no lack of money coming from citizens who volunteer their contributions to candidates of their choice without having the tax payers subsidize political campaigns, and in effect buying ads for campaigns where they actually oppose the candidate.
“Another item. They would prevent photo ID at the polls, something that 80% of Americans think is a very important part of verifying that the person who is voting is who he says he is. So those are just some of the items. It’s a laundry list of deplorable ideas.
“Look, the main point is there is no need to federalize elections in this country. The Democrats have wanted to do it for years. They have wanted to take over the entire federal election system and this bill would have done just that. So, no one should be surprised that none of my members supported it and all of theirs did. That tells you they thought it would be to their advantage to rewrite the rules of the game in order to make it possible for them to win more often”
On the Importance of Preserving the Legislative Filibuster:
“You know, President Trump asked me to get rid of the filibuster and I politely said, no because I thought that the institution of the Senate was more important than any short term advantage of a majority that may tomorrow be in the minority. Back when President Trump was in office and we were in the Majority, about half the Democratic conference signed a letter saying they thought the legislative filibuster was the essence of the Senate.
“Now that the players have changed and we have a Democrat in the White House, and a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate, only two of them are willing to publically defend the institution and I want to say to both Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema, I admire their courage in defending the Senate as an institution and basically, I guess, saying you don’t change the rules to try to win the game. For them to win the game they need to win more seats, and I’ve been here, Guy, when they did have 60. They had 60 the first two years of President Obama and they could do pretty much what they wanted to and they did. Well, they don’t have 60 now, they don’t have a mandate.
“Breaking the rules of the Senate to achieve a short term partisan advantage is bad for America, it’s bad for the Senate, it shouldn’t be done and hopefully, thanks to these two courageous democratic senators, it won’t be done.”
On Bipartisan Infrastructure Negotiations:
“Well there isn’t a bill yet, but if there is an infrastructure bill that is credibly paid for… without changing the 2017 tax bill, which we think was the singular - other than judges - the single biggest accomplishment during the previous four years for the country, it’s worth taking a look at. There is no deal yet but the negotiations are continuing.
“Infrastructure is an area potentially of bipartisan agreement, but the devil’s in the details and we’ll have to make sure there’s not some kind of hidden tax increase in there and I want to see that it’s credibly paid for. I think it’s too early to say whether this will come together or not but there are constructive talks going on.”