To incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), it is more important for Republicans to be the party of yes than go all-out to defund President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.
According to the New York Times, McConnell “acknowledges that changing the mind-set of opposition” in the next Congress “will be crucial to advancing legislation that will attract Democratic support and force” Obama “into difficult choices over whether to sign measures pushed by his adversaries.” The Times notes “that is why his focus will be lawmakers he thinks he can meld into a governing coalition.”
“All of us from time to time make a point,” Mr. McConnell told the outlet. “But it is time now to make a difference.”
But on the issue that is arguably most important to conservatives–defunding President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty–McConnell is squeamish.
The Associated Press noted that in a recent interview, “McConnell stopped short of pledging that Congress would block Obama’s recent executive actions curbing deportations for millions of people who are in the United States illegally.” The Times emphasized that, “as for immigration policy, the leader seemed unclear himself just how the new Republican Congress would approach the issue, saying only that ‘we will be back at it in February.'”
McConnell, who has vowed to bring the Senate back to regular order, will focus primarily on getting appropriations bills passed.
“Many of my members are not used to voting for appropriations bills,” McConnell reportedly said. “But if we are going to pursue our agenda to push back against the bureaucratic overreach seemingly on steroids for the last five or six years, we need to put appropriations bills on the president’s desk and make him make a choice.”
In addition, McConnell will reportedly focus on bills dealing with the Keystone XL pipeline, pro-life issues,”tax reform, trade promotion and infrastructure spending,” and those dealing with dismantling Obamacare.
McConnell, who has wanted to be Senate Majority Leader for most of his life, said, “I have studied this job and reached my own conclusions about how it ought to be done… It has been a long wait.”
He may need to reach deep into his playbook to figure out how he can keep the GOP’s majority in the Senate beyond 2016 while avoiding a showdown over the implementation of Obama’s executive amnesty.