An AP report observed recently that much has changed in the partnership between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump as the two have worked to restore their political alliance.
The New American reported last April that McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was not going to consider the $60 billion in federal spending rescissions desired by President Trump, explaining to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto: “We had an agreement with the Democrats.”
The report noted that when Trump signed the bill, he expressed disgust and shock that his cuts in spending were not added to the bill, vowing never again to sign such a bill. It observed: “McConnell appears more concerned with good relations with the minority party Democrats than he does with his relationship with members of his own party or the president.”
Just two months later, however, relations between McConnell and Trump had solidified to the point that the majority leader was firmly behind getting the Senate to confirm the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. An article in The New American in July paraphrased McConnell’s message for the Democrats: You had better get on with confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, or we’ll let this drag through the Fall and make it a campaign issue back home.
The AP article observed: “The president now keeps the Kentuckian close as a needed ally in accomplishing his agenda on Capitol Hill. And McConnell talks to the president almost daily as the two chat strategy, monitor campaigns and count votes.”
McConnell has postponed the customary Senate August recess this year to hold a summer work session enabling Republicans to work on their legislative agenda. This includes confirming some of the president’s new judges, approving funding bills ahead of a government shutdown deadline, and laying the groundwork for a fall vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“As the Senate reconvenes to cross more items off our to-do list, we should take pride in all we have already accomplished this summer,” AP quoted McConnell’s opening remarks for the August session. “Important work remains for the weeks ahead.”
Photo of Mitch McConnell: Senate.gov