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NEWS EXTRA

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Senator Mitch McConnel (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008. Photograph by Karen Ballard

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) photographed at the Capitol on December 2, 2008. Photograph by Karen Ballard

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Senate Working in Bipartisan Way to Help Address Online Human Trafficking

Senate Will Vote Today On Measure To Address Cases Of Sex-Trafficking Linked To Backpage.Com

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today prior to the Senate voting on a bipartisan resolution regarding human trafficking:

“Let me begin by stating an obvious point. When it comes to filling the current Supreme Court vacancy — which could fundamentally alter the direction of the court for a generation — Republicans and Democrats simply disagree.

“Republicans think the people deserve a voice in this critical discussion. The President does not. So we disagree in this instance, and as a result we logically act as a check and balance.

“There’s no reason one area of disagreement should stop us from looking for other areas of agreement though. We’ll continue our work in the Senate as the American people make their voices heard in this important national conversation.

“For instance we’ll address another very important issue today, which I’d like to tell you about now…Senator Portman and Senator McCaskill are the top Republican and top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

“Over the past year, they’ve worked together in a bipartisan way to examine human trafficking.

“Their probe has revealed how trafficking has flourished in the age of the Internet. It’s also revealed how many cases of sex-trafficking — including cases involving children — have been linked to one website in particular: Backpage.com.

“One national group that tracks the issue has told the subcommittee this: nearly three-quarters of all suspected child-sex trafficking reports it receives from the public through its tip line have a connection to Backpage. 

“Chairman Portman and the Ranking Member from Missouri have wanted to do something about this. They know they have to keep investigating.

“So they issued a subpoena to Backpage. They wanted documents about the company’s business practices. They wanted to know how it screens advertisements for warning signs of trafficking. And, as the leaders of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, they had every right to make these requests in the course of their investigation.

“But Backpage has refused to comply. Does that mean Senators Portman and McCaskill gave up? Of course not, and we shouldn’t either.

“They jointly introduced a Senate resolution that would hold the company in civil contempt and force it to turn over this required information.

“This resolution passed through committee with unanimous bipartisan support 15 to 0.

“And today it can pass the full Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support too. We’ll have that opportunity this afternoon. If we do, it will allow the Senate’s Legal Counsel to bring a civil suit in court and ask the court to order compliance with the subpoena.

“That’s critical for allowing this bipartisan investigation to move forward.

“I thank Ranking Member McCaskill for all she’s done. I thank Chairman Portman for all he’s done.

“We saw Senator Portman’s great work last week in passing bipartisan legislation to help address America’s heroin and opioid crisis.

“We’re again seeing Senator Portman’s great work in leading on another important issue, and doing so once more in a bipartisan way.”

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

McConnell On Supreme Court Nomination 

‘The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the Court’s direction…The American people may well elect a President who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next President may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today following the President’s announcement of his nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the United States Supreme Court:

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the Court’s direction.

“It is a President’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a President and withhold its consent.

“As Chairman Grassley and I declared weeks ago, and reiterated personally to President Obama, the Senate will continue to observe the Biden Rule so that the American people have a voice in this momentous decision.

“The American people may well elect a President who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next President may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.

“Let me remind colleagues what Vice President Biden said when he was Judiciary Chairman here in the Senate:

‘It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what is fair to the nominee and is central to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me…we will be in deep trouble as an institution. Others may fret that this approach would leave the Court with only eight members for some time, but as I see it…the cost of such a result — the need to reargue three or four cases that will divide the Justices four to four — are quite minor compared to the cost that a nominee, the President, the Senate, and the Nation would have to pay for what would assuredly be a bitter fight, no matter how good a person is nominated by the President…’

“Consider that last part. Then-Senator Biden said that the cost to the nation would be too great no matter who the President nominates. President Obama and his allies may now try to pretend this disagreement is about a person, but as I just noted, his own Vice President made clear it’s not. The Biden Rule reminds us that the decision the Senate announced weeks ago remains about a principle, not a person.

“It seems clear that President Obama made this nomination not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election — which is the type of thing then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Biden was concerned about. The Biden Rule underlines that what the President has done with this nomination would be unfair to any nominee, and more importantly the rule warns of the great costs the President’s action could carry for our nation.

“Americans are certain to hear a lot of rhetoric from the other side in the coming days, but here are the facts they’ll keep in mind:

·         The current Democratic Leader said the Senate is not a rubber stamp, and he noted that the Constitution does not require the Senate to give presidential nominees a vote.

·         The incoming Democratic Leader did not even wait until the final year of George W. Bush’s term to essentially tell the Senate not to consider any Supreme Court nominee the President sent.

·         The ‘Biden Rule’ supports what the Senate is doing today, underlining that what we’re talking about is a principle not a person.

“So here’s our view. Instead of spending more time debating an issue where we can’t agree, let’s keep working to address the issues where we can.

“We just passed critical bipartisan legislation to help address the heroin and prescription opioid crisis in our country. Let’s build on that success. Let’s keep working together to get our economy moving again and make our country safer, rather than endlessly debating an issue where we don’t agree.

“As we continue working on issues like these, the American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue. So let’s give them a voice. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next President nominates, whoever that might be.”

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Honors Sen. Mitch McConnell for Being a “Taxpayer Super Hero”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) applauded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his relentless and unwavering support of the fiscal interests of American taxpayers while serving in Congress. Sen. McConnell was one of the 17 lawmakers to earn a perfect score of 100 percent in CCAGW’s 2015 Congressional Ratings, making him a “Taxpayer Super Hero.”

The report, which CCAGW has issued since 1989, highlights the voting records of all 535 members of Congress. It identifies members whose impeccable voting records helped protect and save the taxpayers’ money, earning them the honored title of “Taxpayer Super Hero,” while it cites

Senator McConnell receives award from CCAGW President Tom Schatz. Photo Courtesy: Ofc. Sen. Mitch McConnell

Senator McConnell receives award from CCAGW President Tom Schatz. Photo Courtesy: Ofc. Sen. Mitch McConnell

members who consistently voted against the fiscal interest of taxpayers.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the group that is focused on protecting the financial well-being of the American taxpayer,” said Senator McConnell. “We must continue to look for fiscally responsible ways to rein in Washington’s spending addiction and reduce our national debt in order to give our children and grandchildren a more secure future. I have heard from people all across Kentucky who want the federal government to pass legislation to get spending under control and revive our economy.”

“We applaud and wholeheartedly thank Leader McConnell for voting consistently on behalf of the taxpayers during the first session of the 114th Congress,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “Under his leadership, the new Senate majority includes an unprecedented 15 Taxpayer Super Heroes who collectively fought to cut wasteful spending and make government more accountable.”

“We have no doubt that Sen. McConnell will continue to help lead the effort to end wasteful spending and reduce the growing national debt,” added Schatz. “His constituents should be very proud of him.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

National Democrats’ War on Coal Continues

‘Now, we hear boasting from the highest ranks of the Democratic Party that these policies are going to put coal miners out of business… This is callous, it’s wrong, and it underlines the need to stand up for hardworking, middle-class coal families.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding national democrats’ continued assault on Kentucky coal miners, their families, and their jobs:

“When President Obama was a candidate, he boasted that his energy tax policies would make electricity prices ‘skyrocket’ for American families. When President Obama took office, his administration declared a war on coal families and their jobs.

“For a time, his administration tried to deny it was declaring a war on anyone.

“Now, we hear boasting from the highest ranks of the Democratic Party that these policies are going to put coal miners out of business.

“Miners in Kentucky and across the country know that coal keeps the lights on and puts food on the table. What they want is to provide for their families, but here’s how more Democrats seem to view these hardworking Americans and their families: just statistics, just the cost of doing business, just obstacles to their ideology.

“This is callous, it’s wrong, and it underlines the need to stand up for hardworking, middle-class coal families.

“That’s what I’ve done here in the Senate. That’s what I’ll continue to do. I ask colleagues to join me.”

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