A Republican-controlled Congress would use the power of the purse to overturn President Barack Obama's policies, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told a private gathering sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, The New York Times
His remarks came to light after an audio recording
was posted by a liberal website, The Undercurrent.
The recording was made in mid-June in Dana Point, California, where AFP, a conservative political advocacy group, funded largely by Charles and David Koch, had brought donors and candidates together.
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The Times characterized McConnell's plan as "confrontational" and "aimed at dismantling President Obama's legislative successes through the federal budget."
If Republicans took control of the Senate and kept control of the House, McConnell envisioned how they would use the budget process to rescind Obama's program: "In the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what's called placing riders in the bill."
McConnell said this meant that "no money can be spent to do this or to do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. All across the federal government, we're going to go after it," the Times reported.
McConnell referred to using the reconciliation process to pass legislation by simple majority votes. Democrats would probably filibuster bills with budgetary riders. That would require Republicans to muster 60 votes — which they are unlikely to have. To overcome this obstacle Senate Republicans would have to end the filibuster on spending bills the way Democrats did in connection with the confirmation of certain presidential nominees, the Times reported.
Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader of the Senate, and other Democrats can be expected to use the audio recording to malign McConnell and other candidates present at the event for their ties to the Koch brothers. Reid has said the conservative billionaires were corrupting American politics, according to the Times.
Besides McConnell, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Joni Ernst of Iowa — all GOP senatorial candidates — can be heard speaking at the event. Ernst and Gardner told donors that if they won in 2014 that would clear a path for a Republican in the 2016 presidential race to win the Rocky Mountain West, the Times reported.
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