Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has served as the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate since 2015. He was first voted into the Senate in November, 1984, seated on January 3, 1985. That election was a squeaker. He would have lost if the 0.6% of the vote that went to a Socialist Workers candidate had gone to his Democratic opponent. He leapt to the Senate at 42 years of age from a position as “Judge/Executive of Jefferson County”, Kentucky. He is currently 76 years old. He is up for re-election in 2020. (Sources: Wikipedia and Ballotpedia.)
Ballotpedia reports McConnell’s net worth increased by 512% from $3,734,414 in 2004 to $22,841,026 in 2012 while the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94% in the same period. (You can see his top 5 contributors to his political campaigns at Ballotpedia.)
For me, Mitch McConnell stands out as the most partisan and least statesmanlike of highly placed politicians in Congress. His statement in 2010 after the 2008 election of Barrack Obama, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” stands out for me, but not nearly so much has his unprecedented months-long stiff-arming of Merrick Garland, the moderate judge Obama nominated to the Supreme Court. For that latter act McConnell already deserves a special place in hell.
Now McConnell is refusing to bring to the Senate floor bills already passed by the House since this Congress opened on January 3, bills that would re-open most of the government, appropriations bills the contents of which passed the Senate by a voice vote last December (but need to be taken up again, since we’re in a new Congress, in order to present them to Donald Trump).
McConnell is in a delicate spot. In 2014, his last election, he won with 56% of the vote. (There still are Kentuckians who are Democrats!) McConnell’s base, we have to imagine, is increasingly Trumpian. He must fear doing anything that angers Trump. That certainly includes presenting Trump with bills he would have to veto to keep the government shut down. Worse, if Trump vetoed, the Congress might have to consider a veto override. Each and every Representative and Senator would then be on record as having voted for or against continuing the Trump shutdown. This is pure partisan politics.
But there is more. Evidence continues to mount that Trump colluded with the Russians to swing the 2016 election. McConnell, in his steadfast pursuit of the Republican agenda, has consistently defended Trump against such accusations. Explore that by reading “Trump is doing immense damage. He has a hidden helper.” an opinion piece in the Washington Post by Greg Sargent on January 14th.
Once again here are the numbers to call and express your ire over Congressional dysfunction on the issue of the shutdown. It is their job to present legislation to the President and to override (or not) his veto if it comes to it. (
Spokane Office (509) 353-2374
Colville Office (509) 684-3481
Walla Walla Office (509) 529-9358
D.C. Office (202) 225-2006
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
D.C. Office (202) 224-2621
Spokane Office (509) 624-9515
Yakima Office (509) 453-7462
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
D.C. Office (202) 224-3441
Spokane Office (509) 353-2507
Richland Office (509) 946-8106
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
North ID, 208–664-5490
Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
Coeur d’Alene 208-667-6130
Rep. Russ Fulcher (new R, ID)
Then call Call/Email Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and ask him to bring the House-passed bills to the Senate floor for a vote. He needs to let the Senate do its job. Phone: (202) 224-2541. Reports are that McConnell’s phone lines have been jammed. They need to stay that way.
Keep to the high ground,