Jul 11, 2019

McConnell challenger Amy McGrath in Kavanaugh vote support flip-flop

Amy McGrath. Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath walked back comments Wednesday that she "probably would have voted" to appoint Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — hours after she made the declaration.

Details: McGrath, who hopes to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020, made the comments on Kavanaugh during a wide-ranging interview with the Courier Journal in which she also said, "If President Trump has good ideas, I'll be for them. At the same time, if I think he’s wrong I’m going to stand up to him."

Context: Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearing became one of the most bitter battles in decades, after Christine Blasey Ford testified that he sexually assaulted her in high school. Kavanaugh was sworn in last year by a 50-48 vote.

Why it matters: McGrath's remarks come at a time when Congress is deeply divided along partisan lines. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, per the Washington Post.

The big picture: The former Marine fighter pilot is trying to appeal to voters in the Bluegrass State, where Democrats haven't won a Senate race since 1992, by trying to portray McConnell being at the heart of the "swamp" Trump vowed to drain when he was a presidential candidate, according to the Courier Journal.

"This business of pro-Trump, anti-Trump — you're just putting people in a box. Folks just aren't like that. ... I want to do what's best for Kentucky, and when President Trump has good ideas, I'm going to be for them. To me it's not about your political party, it's not about wearing a red jersey or blue jersey, OK?"
— McGrath

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House Judiciary requests Kavanaugh records withheld during confirmation

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has sent a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration requesting that it turn over documents stemming from its review of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's time in the Bush White House from 2001 to 2006.

The big picture: Prior to voting on his nomination, former Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requested documents from the National Archives related to Kavanaugh's time in the White House Counsel's Office. Grassley later withdrew his request after receiving some of the records from a private attorney, though tens of thousands of documents were withheld.

Harry Reid: Democrats should end the filibuster to take on climate change

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Daily Beast that Democrats should kill the filibuster to pass climate change legislation if they take control of the Senate in 2020.

"[T]he No. 1 priority is climate change. There’s nothing that affects my children, grandchildren, and their children, right now, more than climate."
Go deeperArrowAug 8, 2019

Mitch McConnell fractures shoulder after falling at Kentucky home

Mitch McConnell: Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has fractured his shoulder after falling at his Kentucky home, his spokesperson said in a statement Sunday. The 77-year-old McConnell has been treated and released from the hospital and is working from his home in Louisville.

The big picture: The injury comes as a number of Democrats and some Republicans have called upon McConnell to cancel the Senate's August recess so that lawmakers can pass gun control legislation in the aftermath of two deadly mass shootings this weekend. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded on Sunday that Senate Republicans put an end to to their "outrageous obstruction," referencing McConnell's refusal to bring two background check bills passed in the House this year for a vote on the Senate floor.