McConnell: ‘Change the Course for America’

At News Conference Today, Senate Majority Leader Discusses President-Elect Trump and An Agenda to Move America Forward

WASHINGTONU.S. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke about Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Republicans remaining in the majority in the Senate, and other issues at a press conference today. The following are excerpts from the press conference:



“I want to particularly congratulate President-elect Trump. I think we can all agree this is a stunning election. And, clearly an indication, the American people would like to try something new and I know the Speaker shares my view that we would like to see the country go in a different direction and intend to work with him to change courses -- to change the course for America.”


“He will have an opportunity to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. As you know, I said in February of this year, to a hail of controversy, that I thought it best if the American people decided this appointment to the Supreme Court. I thought I was on pretty firm footing and it had been 80 years since a vacancy created in the middle of a presidential election year was confirmed by the Senate. You'd have to go back to 1888 to find the last time a vacancy on the Supreme Court in the middle of a presidential election year was confirmed by the Senate of the opposite party of the President. And, so the American people have spoken and President Trump, will send us a nominee, I assume, early next year.”



“I'm really proud of the races that we won. If you look across the country, as all of you know, we had a lot of exposure, 24 of us up, only 10 of our Democrat friends. In a day when the American people clearly were expressing themselves for major change in the vote for president, it's noteworthy that only one or maybe two Senate incumbents were defeated. So I think an appropriate way to look at the Senate races, 18 of the Senate candidates actually ran ahead of the presidential candidate, in other races somewhat behind. Kind of a mixed picture.”

“But I think in a day when people were voting for change, they didn't decide they wanted to change the Republican Senate, which I am proud of. And of course, many of our members actually had bipartisan accomplishments to run on. It's distinguished, for example, from the previous Congress where Senator Begich from Alaska never been able to allow -- never had been allowed to other an amendment on a -- on a bill in a whole six-year term.”

“We opened the Senate up, we gave people an opportunity to express themselves, to offer their ideas. In the case of several of our members, there were important accomplishments for their states that they were able to talk about during the course of the campaign.”



“To more current and national matters, Senator Schumer called yesterday and offered his cooperation. I said that's certainly what I intended to do and we talked again today, and that's still the view of both of us, that we want to work together and see what we can accomplish for the American people not only in the lame-duck, but beginning next year.”


“It was the single worst piece of legislation among many bad pieces of legislation passed in the first two years of the Obama presidency. The sooner we can go in a different direction, the better.”


“Well, we all really like Mike Pence. If you've asked any of us who've served with him, everybody likes him. We all thought it was a great choice that President-Elect Trump made in picking him.

And I've mentioned that to Vice President Pence. And I hope he will attend our Tuesday policy lunches when he's in town and kind of be our liaison between the administration and the Senate, much like Vice President Cheney was.”

Related Issues: Supreme Court, Back to Work, Restoring the Senate