McConnell: ‘The Senate’s not broken’

McConnell: ‘The Senate’s not broken’

  07 Oct 2018


Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his decision to not even consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday said the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a “low point in the Senate” but he is proud of how his fellow Republicans handled it.

“The Senate’s not broken,” McConnell said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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He distinguished between the contentious fight over alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh and his decision as majority leader not to even consider former President Barack Obama’s 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in a presidential election year.

“We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him,” McConnell said. “We simply followed the tradition of America.”

“You have to go back to 1880 to find the last time a vacancy created in a presidential election year on the Supreme Court was confirmed by a Senate of a different party than the president,” he added.

Asked whether that meant he would consider a nominee by President Donald Trump in a presidential election year, since they are of the same party, McConnell responded: “We’ll see whether there’s a vacancy in 2020.”

The senator said he agreed with a floor speech by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that “this has been a low point in the Senate,” but cast the blame on Democrats.

“We stood up to the mob,” he said of Republicans. “We established that the presumption of innocence is still important. I’m proud of my colleagues. This was an important day for the United States Senate.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), also appearing on Fox, said he was happy to have helped overcome “the effort to humiliate and railroad a man I’ve known for 20 years.”

“I’ve never been more pissed in my life,” he said of the Kavanaugh confirmation process. “I’ve never campaigned against a colleague in my life. That’s about to change.”

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