Mitch McConnells reelection site mocks blocking Merrick Garland – Courier Journal

Mitch McConnell\s reelection site mocks blocking Merrick Garland - Courier Journal
McConnell boasts about blocking Merrick Garland weeks after complaining of Democratic obstruction
The video features news clips from March 2016 about the then-open seat left vacant following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, as well as footage of President Barack Obama asking the Senate majority to give Garland a fair hearing, and McConnell refusing to do so.

“It is the president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice. And it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check,” McConnell says in a voiceover. “The next president may also nominate someone very different.”

Footage of Trump swearing in Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh follows, interspersed with clips of Fox News anchors recounting McConnell’s part in pushing them through the Senate.

The video ends with a video clip of Trump praising McConnell at a rally as “Kentucky tough,” and the words, “Kentucky leads.”

The video comes just weeks after McConnell penned an op-ed for Politico, in which he railed against “historic obstruction” and “partisan delays” from Democrats, and addressed his decision to shorten the amount of debate permitted on nominee confirmation votes in the Senate.

“Its been 354 days and counting in Senate purgatory for the presidents nominee to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two-hundred eighty-seven days and counting for the under secretary of state for management,” he wrote. “Noncontroversial lower court nominees have languished for weeks and weeks — for no discernible reason — before they, too, were confirmed unanimously. These are just a few examples of the historic obstruction Senate Democrats have visited upon President Trumps nominees for two years and counting.”

Speaking to his decision to shorten debate time on nominees, he added, “The status quo is unfair, unhealthy, and unsustainable. This president and all future presidents deserve a more functional process for building their administrations.”

McConnell’s own record of partisan obstruction is well-documented. Following Scalia’s death in 2016, McConnell ignored hundreds of years of precedent and refused to let the body even consider the nomination of Garland, instead announcing that the next president should get to decide. Garland did not receive a hearing in the Judiciary Committee and was not permitted a confirmation vote.

That move ultimately allowed Trump to nominate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the seat. When Gorsuch’s nomination failed to receive the required 60 votes to end debate, McConnell used the same “break the rules to change the rules” process, reducing the required vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to 51 and ramming the nomination through.

The majority leader has not slowed his pace since then. In Wednesday’s campaign video launch, McConnell features audio from an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace,  highlighting his record.

“Under President Trump, with you as majority leader, two Supreme Court justices have been confirmed and 26 judges have been put on circuit courts. That’s the fastest pace in history,” Wallace notes.

The nearly three minute video posted on the McConnell campaigns Facebook page highlights some of McConnells more memorable moments as the Senate majority leader.

That includes blocking Merrick Garlands 2016 nomination to the Supreme Court, the Republicans confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Mitch McConnell has led the fight for our conservative values in the Senate. Confirming two Supreme Court Justices, cutting government regulations, passing historic middle-class tax cuts, Mitch has delivered on President Trumps promise to Make America Great Again,” McConnells campaign website says.

“Left-wing billionaires, progressive activists, and Hollywood liberals will fund our opponent. They will raise millions to flood the airwaves with attack ads and baseless smears,” the website says.

McConnell has enjoyed broad support from his caucus in the Senate. He easily retained his role as Senate majority leader heading into the 116th Congress after he had the toughest reelection battle of his political career in 2014 when Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes got nearly 41% of the vote. Although McConnell won with a comfortable margin, the race forced McConnell to spend millions of television ads and other campaign resources.

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