Tags: Mitch McConnell | Congress | Session | Dysfunctional

Mitch McConnell Denies Last Session of Congress Was Dysfunctional

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 09:23 AM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied Wednesday that the last session of Congress was dysfunctional, as there were many vital pieces of legislation passed during that time.

"It wasn't at all dysfunctional in the last Congress, not at all," the Kentucky Republican told MSNBC's Joe Scarborough in an exclusive interview for the "Morning Joe" program.

"[We passed] comprehensive education reform and a five-year highway bill and on and on. We were not dysfunctional."

McConnell said "the only thing" he did that Democrats didn't like was to push against confirming President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia.

"We [were] not going to fill the Supreme Court decision in the middle of a presidential election year, for which there was ample precedent," said McConnell, pointing out that Republicans did not block Obama's cabinet seats from being filled.

"What we are experiencing [now] in the Senate is delaying the inevitable," McConnell said of Democrats' efforts to slow down confirmation proceedings for President Donald Trump's cabinet nominees.

Meanwhile, McConnell spoke out about the "status quo" continuing on Obamacare, and said reform measures would be happening even if Hillary Clinton had been elected president and New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer had become Senate majority leader.

"We now have a secretary of Health and Human Services who has the same kind of latitude to try to settle the markets and get to us a better place," said McConnell, referring to newly confirmed HHS Secretary Tom Price.

"We think we can do better and we owe it to the American people to try to do that."

There are many Republicans who voted for Trump who want to be protected on preexisting conditions in their healthcare coverage, and McConnell said he thinks state-based risk pools would be the key to doing that.

McConnell also talked about Trump's use of Twitter, and how some of his statements could distract from his accomplishments.

"I think we do end up having a lot of collateral matters to talk about as a result of the president's desire to tweet," said McConnell.

"I'm more interested in what he is doing than what he is tweeting. I think that's something he wants to do and will continue to do, but I'm going to focus on what we are trying to accomplish for the American people."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied Wednesday that the last session of Congress was dysfunctional, as there were many vital pieces of legislation passed during that time.
Mitch McConnell, Congress, Session, Dysfunctional
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2017-23-15
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 09:23 AM
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