McConnell: Senate 'Can Be Better' If GOP Takes Control

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 05:45 PM

By Amy Woods

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday looked ahead to the midterm elections this year and outlined a strategy for the rancorous "shirts-against-skins" chamber if Republicans regain control, Politico reported.

McConnell, who is running for re-election this year in Kentucky against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, also critiqued the Senate and said it "can be better."

"I'm not here to claim that we are without fault," he said in a speech on the floor that lasted 40 minutes. "But I am certain of one thing — I'm absolutely certain of one thing — that the Senate can be better than it is."

The session started off poorly this month when McConnell lambasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, for quashing amendments to the bill extending long-term unemployment insurance.

"But alas, I expect that opportunity will not be allowed because one person who's allowed to get priority recognition can prevent us from getting any amendments, or even worse still, pick our amendments for us — to decide which of our amendments are OK and which aren't," McConnell said.

Part of his strategy to improve the Senate is to allow more amendments on the floor, Politico reported.

In a rebuke, Reid defended his leadership by saying the number of amendments proposed by Republicans during McConnell's tenure is more than during those of other Republican leaders, including Bill Frist of Tennessee and Trent Lott of Mississippi.

"So, Republicans should stop trying to justify their opposition to helping Americans in need with false claims about my leadership of this institution," Reid said.

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