‘It’s Santa Mitch delivering the baubles for Kentuckians…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delivered more than $1 billion in federal spending and tax breaks to his Kentucky constituents—an achievement he’s touted as he returns to his home state to begin what could be a tough reelection campaign.
The long-standing incumbent reminded constituents that his Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath, hasn’t provided concrete results, whereas he has.
“I saw a commercial from my likely opponent indicating that I was all that was wrong with Washington,” McConnell said, according to Newsmax. “So I have a question for her here as we go into the new year: In what way would Kentucky have been better off without any of these items that I put in the year-end spending bill?”
McConnell said his leadership role in the Senate has given Kentucky “an advantage to punch above its weight.”
The majority leader has several wins in Congress’s recent spending bill that could help him in 2020. Among them:
- Pension benefits for coal miners
- $410 million for the construction of the new Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- $314 million for the cleanup of Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
- $65 million for the construction of the Forage Animal Production Lab at the University of Kentucky
“I was directly responsible — directly responsible — for these items,” McConnell said.
However, some fiscal conservatives were critical of the spending bill and its long list of pork items stuffed in at the last minute.
“It’s clear Sen. McConnell took advantage of the push to get the bill through to grab all the cash he possibly can for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
“It’s Santa Mitch delivering the baubles for Kentuckians,” Ellis said.
McConnell’s role as one of President Donald Trump’s top defenders also has its drawbacks, given the never-ending barrage of critical headlines he must endure.
He currently has 37% approval at home, according to a recent Morning Consult poll, which routinely ranks him among its least popular senators.
Democrats, meanwhile, have poured millions of dollars in campaign cash into Kentucky, in an attempt to oust McConnell.
McGrath, retired Marine Corps fighter pilot, narrowly lost her bid to unseat a Republican Rep. Andy Barr in a 2018 congressional race, despite out-raising him by more than $3 million.
Her Senate bid, likewise, has drawn the attention of big-money interests from outside the state, most based in California, New York and Massachusetts.
Among those who have given the maximum donation amount are mega-donors George Soros and his son Alexander, according to the Federal Elections Commission.