McConnell Welcomes the President to the Capitol

Majority Leader McConnell discusses the President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress, Judge Neil Gorsuch, and Obamacare.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on Senate floor today regarding the president’s address to Congress, Judge Gorsuch and Obamacare: 

“The past eight years have not been easy for America's middle class.  Americans labored under an economy that failed to deliver.  They fought against red tape that threatened their jobs and small businesses.  And when they looked to Washington, they saw an administration that repeatedly put its left-wing ideology ahead of their middle-class interests.

“Kentuckians understand this better than most.  They watched as the last administration launched a war on vulnerable families in coal country.  They watched as the last administration launched a direct attack on the middle class in the form of Obamacare.

“Kentuckians were promised that health insurance premiums would go down, but they soared — by as much as 47 percent this year.  Kentuckians were promised that health choices would increase, but they plummeted — down to just one exchange provider in nearly half of our counties.  Kentuckians were also promised they could keep their health plans, but many continue to find themselves forced into insurance so expensive, insurance that so few of their doctors will accept, it’s basically useless.

“Obamacare has pushed Kentucky’s insurance market to the brink of collapse, and now Democrats want to throw a victory party?  I’m not sure how else to interpret their choice to respond to the president’s address tonight.  The absolute Obamacare disaster that Governor Beshear presided over continues to harm Kentucky today – even after he’s left office.

“Kentuckians have since repudiated that legacy in election after election.  They replaced him with an anti-Obamacare Governor and Legislature. They voted for a president who listened to them and promised to repeal and replace Obamacare.  They sent Republicans back to the Senate and House who listened to them and promised to repeal and replace this partisan law too.

“Governor Beshear was correct to note that ‘the American people by their votes don’t agree with [Democrats].’  So maybe he’ll agree it’s time to finally listen to Kentuckians and families around the country and move on from this disastrous law.  Otherwise, we’ll never move forward.  I hope that’s the message Governor Beshear can find within himself to deliver tonight.

“I’m sure it’s the message President Trump will deliver.  In November, the American people elected a new president who offered a new direction. He’ll now have an opportunity to talk about how we can make that change.  We already know what needs to be done.  We need to leave Obamacare in the past and replace it with common-sense reforms so we can bring relief to the middle class.  We need to make regulations smarter so we can get the economy moving.  We need to make taxes simpler so we can create more jobs.

“I look forward to hearing what the president has to say on all of these matters. I also hope he’ll provide more thoughts on how we can help our veterans and strengthen our military.  Getting even one of these items achieved would be a win for our country.  Getting all of them done will be a significant undertaking.

“Congress may hold the key on getting many things done, but the Executive Branch has important authority as well.  The president and his Cabinet Secretaries have already taken critical action to move us forward on many of these issues.  It’s another reason why the rest of his Cabinet needs to be confirmed as soon as possible.  The Senate is working hard to get that done.

“The Senate is also working hard to confirm another one of his nominees, an outstanding jurist named Neil Gorsuch.  He is going to make an exceptional Supreme Court justice. It’s a sentiment you hear expressed right across the political spectrum.  The president made a brilliant choice with Judge Gorsuch. 

“And we’re all looking forward to what the president has to say tonight.  It’s a big moment for him.  More importantly, it’s a big moment for our country.  Americans are ready to move forward.  They’re ready to get our economy moving.  They’re ready to leave the failures of the status quo behind, like Obamacare, and move toward a more hopeful future.  And, after eight long years, that’s something we can all use.”

Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations, Nominations, Health Care, Obamacare