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Politico: Mitch McConnell’s Biggest Ally in 2015 Was Democrats

The biggest ally in 2015 for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was Democrats, according to Politico.

Politico notes how McConnell “teamed up with Democrats to get big-ticket legislation across the finish line, often leaving his own party split and conservatives on the sidelines.” They added that “Speaker Paul Ryan did much the same in his first months in the job.”

According to the report, Democrats are annoyed that Republicans are trying to paint the omnibus bill as a win for Republicans, since “In their view, the $1.8 trillion spending and tax deal that passed last week wouldn’t have been written much differently if Reid were still majority leader.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), speaking to Politico about the $1 trillion bill, said:  “McConnell is indeed compromising to get things done, but it’s a Democratic program. The tea party made it happen. Because they wouldn’t give him votes, so he had to come to Democrats.”

Here are some of the biggest laws that McConnell got passed this year by working with his Democratic allies in Congress, according to Politico:

Budget

He chose the no-shutdown door again. McConnell, backed unanimously by the Democratic Caucus, approved a short-term funding bill that set up bipartisan budget negotiations. Later in the fall, McConnell and Democrats teamed up on a budget and debt ceiling measure, with 35 Republicans voting “no.” Ahead of the vote, Cruz called McConnell “the most effective Democratic leader in modern times.” Last week, when the Senate finally approved the tax and spending bill based on the budget, 26 Republicans voted against it.

Surveillance

McConnell was on the losing end of this one. But aside from that, the dynamic was pretty much the same: Democrats carrying a bill that cleaved the GOP Conference.

Education and Healthcare

Rewriting the No Child Left Behind law, and addressing the annual problem of reimbursement rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients — aka the “doc fix”…Yet there’s still lingering resentment on the right among those who voted “no.” Cruz said the education rewrite continued “failed top-down standards like Common Core” and chided McConnell: “The American people expect the Republican majority to do better.” As for the doc fix, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a staunch fiscal conservative, complained: “When [Democrats] were in the majority, we refused to pass the legislation until it was paid for. And now when we get the majority, we claim credit for doing the doc fix, but it wasn’t paid for.”

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