Dec 22, 2017

McConnell says he wants to move past the "pretty partisan" 2017

Majority Leader McConnell. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

In his year-end news conference on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that with the Senate split 51-49 next year they'll have to work on bipartisan issues such as a revisitation of banking legislation which would change parts of Dodd Frank. He touted 2017 as a year of "extraordinary accomplishment by any standard," but went on to say it was also "pretty partisan."

Entitlement reform: McConnell said that President Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan and him will be meeting in the next few weeks to discuss what to do about entitlement reform in 2018.

Other highlights:

  • On Trump's tweets: McConnell said he wasn't a fan of Trump's tweets until this week. He added that he and the President "have established a really good working relationship" and that "tax exercise kind of brought everything together."
  • Obamacare: McConnell hinted that making any more changes to Obamacare would be difficult with the slim Republican majority, but pointed to the GOP achievement of repealing the individual mandate as part of the tax cut bill.
  • On sexual harassment: He pointed to Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Richard Shelby who have been working on proposals for improving the sexual harassment filing process. He said he hopes to work on the policies in a bipartisan manner.
  • On Steve Bannon's influence in the Alabama election: "The political genius on display — throwing away a seat in the reddest state in America, is hard to ignore."
  • On DACA: McConnell refused to say he supported a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, but said that the legal immigration system should be improved — particularly stopping chain migration.
  • One fun thing: When asked if he planned to visit Mar-a-Lago over the holiday, McConnell laughed and said he had no plans.

Go deeper: McConnell sat down with Axios' Mike Allen on Thursday.

Go deeper