- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to continue to “plow right through” Brett Kavanaugh’s difficult Supreme Court nomination.
- McConnell addressed the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservatives in Washington.
- The Kentucky Republican also said the last year and a half have been his happiest in the 34 years he’s been in the Senate.
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell boasted of his accomplishments on Friday, promising to plow through more of President Donald Trump’s nominees and pack the federal courts with like-minded conservatives, even in the wake of a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservative activist groups, personalities, and politicians in Washington, McConnell said the past year and a half have been the most productive of his more than three decades in the Senate.
“Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You’ve watched the fight. You’ve watched the tactics,” McConnell said. “But here’s what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court. So, my friends, keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.”
McConnell also noted that the Republican agenda is about more than just the Supreme Court. He has pushed through a record amount of appeals level judges to serve terms for life, completing his gamble to block dozens of nominees during the Barack Obama administration.
“So, moving beyond the Supreme Court, here’s our challenge for the future: to do our jobs, wait out the obstruction, confirm more quality nominees to the judiciary,” he said. “We’re going to keep on doing it. We’re not going to get rattled by all this, and I don’t want you to get rattled by it. We’re not going to slow down. We’re just going to keep going ahead. Even more nominees will be confirmed.”
McConnell told the crowd that a way he can measure the success of his tenure as the top Republican in the Senate is by how angry Democrats are with what he does.
“This has been – if you want America to be a right-of-center nation, this last year and a half has been the best year and a half in my time in the Senate,” he said. “And the reason you should know that, look how angry the left is, huh? Look at it. The angrier they get, the better we’re doing.”
Trump has confirmed 26 circuit court judges during his presidency, which McConnell has shepherded through with the help of a simple majority without the chance for any filibusters. Those judges, who serve lifetime appointments, are younger than past presidents’ nominees and almost all are strict textualists expected to rule in favour of conservative positions.
“So we’re going to wrap up here at the end of the month a lot of our business. We’re going to fund the government. We’re going to have Judge Kavanaugh – Justice Kavanaugh,” McConnell concluded. “And then our friends on the other side, who have a number of incumbents running for reelection this year, are going to want to what? Recess? So it won’t surprise you that I’m making my list and checking it twice.”
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