Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke with Fox News Radio's Guy Benson about the ongoing battle for COVID relief on Capitol Hill. Leader McConnell also warned that senate democrats want to pack the courts, change the filibuster, overtax and over regulate the economy should they get into the majority next year. McConnell said,
"Every single Democratic Senate challenger is committed to getting rid of the filibuster. What does that mean to the American people? They want to turn the Senate into the House so things can be done quickly with simple majorities. And here's what they're going to do. After they change the filibuster, they're going to admit the district as a state. They're going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That's four new Democratic senators in perpetuity. And once they get a hammerlock on the Senate they're going to then pack the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts and the Districts Courts by creating new vacancies, filling them with judicial activists. And then they'll do what they always do, turn to the economy and overtax and over-regulate -- and even if the public reacts two years later, a lot of damage will be done. The way to make sure that doesn't happen is to keep me as the majority leader, the firewall against disaster. If I'm the majority leader, we're not going to have two new states, we're not going to pack the courts, and we're going to do everything we can to prevent them from completely reversing the Tax Reform Act of 2017."
Listen To The Full Interview Below:
Full Transcript Below:
GUY BENSON, FOX RADIO HOST: Very pleased to welcome now back to the program the majority leader of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky. Mr. Leader, welcome back to the show.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Glad to be with you, Guy.
BENSON: So let's talk about what happened in the upper chamber last week. You and your colleagues on the Republican side were able to come together coalesce around a COVID relief package; this would be round four of COVID relief. It did a number of important things, and we talked about those here. Every single Democrat in the Senate voted to filibuster even getting onto the bill. They wouldn't debate it, they wouldn't mark it up, they wouldn't amend it, they didn't want to even proceed to that next step. I guess they are all rallying behind the House passed bill from months ago, that even the liberal media dismissed as unserious. The one Democrat who did not go along with the filibuster was Kamala Harris. We can rest assured that she would have if she weren't out quasi-campaigning, I guess I would call it, for vice president. Your reaction, as now, more than a week later, to see what the Democrats basically chose to do and not do there, because as you look around, everyone who was hurting a week ago in this country is still hurting today, and it feels like there's just absolute paralysis on Capitol Hill.
MCCONNELL: Well, it's not difficult to figure out who's responsible for it. The speaker has said give me $2.2 trillion, and then we'll talk. Every single thing in the package that we voted on, on this side of the Capitol on -- the Senate last week is something Democrats are for, but they're saying, if you won't give us everything we want, we won't give you anything, even things we're for, like, in the half-a-trillion-dollar package roughly, that we put on the floor last week, focused on kids in school, jobs, healthcare, and very importantly -- and it costs nothing -- liability protection to keep hospitals, doctors, nurses, colleges, universities, and businesses from being sued over how they handled the coronavirus. Unless you could show gross negligence or intentional misbehavior, you shouldn't be subject to an avalanche of lawsuits as we're struggling to get past the pandemic. Short answer; they don't want to get a result here before the election because they believe a failure to pass a fourth rescue package will benefit them and hurt the president and Republicans. I think the American people are sick of it. There are some pressure points. I wonder if the airline union presidents are calling the speaker and reminding her that thousands of them are going to be laid off October 1 if there's no action -- thousands of them. Their own members are in revolt, although she keeps standing up to them. Whether she'll break or not, I don't know, but we're not going to pay a ransom in order to address this issue in a more narrowly focused way, consistent with where we are now, not where we were in March or April.
BENSON: Yeah. Well because she had said, Pelosi had said, that they weren't going to address any of this on a piecemeal basis, but then she brought the House back to vote on this post office bill that was based, partially at least, on this strange conspiracy theory about the U.S. post office. That was, I guess, her one exception for piecemeal legislation. And we had Senator Tillis on this show earlier in the week. He mentioned that in his recent debate with his Democratic opponent, he ran through some of the bullet points that you did about what the Republican bill would have accomplished and his Democratic opponent basically had to admit that he supported all of it but still would have voted no, because it's currently the Pelosi/Schumer lockstep order basically to say, you give us exactly what we want or hit these certain marks, or else we will give the American people nothing. Better to have nothing than something; that I guess is the Democratic line, which is interesting. You mentioned some of her members you know, rank and file members, people who have tough reelections, they're saying, actually maybe we could vote on something a little bit more modest. She's holding the line. She's saying absolutely not for now. I guess my next question for you, Senator, is, over on the House side, there's this problem-solvers caucus, which is bipartisan, Republicans and Democrats, they've put together a compromised bill that is not exactly like your bill, it's certainly a far cry from Nancy Pelosi's bill, but at least on the top lines, it looks somewhat closer to a reasonable compromise to my eyes. Is that the type of thing that you would be willing potentially to put on the Senate floor for a vote?
MCCONNELL: What we have to have here is an agreement, if we want to get an outcome. And an agreement requires Pelosi and the administration to talk to each other, and she is refusing to talk. So these bubble up items, including the one you just mentioned, are all -- make for interesting discussion, but the only thing it gets us to an outcome is for the talks between Pelosi and Mnuchin, which I've participated in as well, to resume. That's the only way you get a law. And so unless, you know, unless she has a change of heart, I don't see us getting anywhere, and I think it's a pretty blatant message to the American people -- send us a new government, and we'll do it after the election.
BENSON: Now Senator, if memory serves, the last time we spoke together on this program it was just in the aftermath of another filibuster from the Senate Democrats. Your colleagues on the other side of the aisle had prevented any debate on the bill from Tim Scott, Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, on the issue of police reform. We saw this now again last week on COVID relief. You've pointed this out. I saw your floor speech earlier in the week. I've been talking about it and writing about it. Senate Democrats are increasingly sort of boisterous about this notion that they're at least heavily flirting with the idea of blowing up the filibuster completely if they take power next year, but they're using the filibuster quite promiscuously to block all sorts of stuff -- police reform, COVID relief -- right now. How do you - how do they, I guess, if you could try to put yourself in their shoes, how do they square this circle, where on one hand they say, oh, the Senate's broken, the filibuster's terrible. It's not representative; it's racist. Barack Obama, I think, called it a relic of Jim Crow, but it's a good relic of Jim Crow for the next few months because we need it. I mean, hypocrisy with a capital H; it feels like they're getting very little heat for that.
MCCONNELL: Hypocrisy's not unheard of in the annals of --
MCCONNELL: -- Washington politics, but this is one of the most conspicuous examples of it. That's precise -- you know, Guy, you've had (INAUDIBLE) on your show, but every single Democratic Senate challenger is committed to getting rid of the filibuster. What does that mean to the American people? They want to turn the Senate into the House so things can be done quickly with simple majorities. And here's what they're going to do. After they change the filibuster, they're going to admit the district as a state. They're going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That's four new Democratic senators in perpetuity. And once they get a hammerlock on the Senate they're going to then pack the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts and the Districts Courts by creating new vacancies, filling them with judicial activists. And then they'll do what they always do, turn to the economy and overtax and over-regulate -- and even if the public reacts two years later, a lot of damage will be done. The way to make sure that doesn't happen is to keep me as the majority leader, the firewall against disaster. If I'm the majority leader, we're not going to have two new states, we're not going to pack the courts, and we're going to do everything we can to prevent them from completely reversing the Tax Reform Act of 2017.
BENSON: Yeah, and raising taxes across the board for every income group, which is something we touched on earlier in the show. But I think one of the telltale signs that this threat about blowing up the filibuster could actually be real is when the former President Barack Obama, during a eulogy at a funeral, was urging Congress to get rid of the filibuster, and he made that comment that it's basically just this racist remnant. Senator, am I mistaken, or did you not serve with Barack Obama in the Senate, and did he not have a very, very different view of the filibuster at that time?
MCCONNELL: He did. But look, they're not feeling bound by anything they've done in the past or any positions they've taken in the past. What they're doing is very blatantly and openly prior to the election, letting the American people know exactly what they're going to do if they get the entire government. I appreciate that, because I think we need to be able to talk about that in great detail from now until November 3rd. So the American people know exactly what's going to happen if they turn the entire government over to these people. Moderate Democrats are gone. They've all gone hard left. Joe Biden won't be a moderate, I assure you, he will not be a moderate. Every Democratic president's going to be the next FDR. And if they turn the Senate and the House by going to a simple majority on every issue, watch out; they will do everything, Guy, that you and I have just been discussing, I guarantee it, they will do it if they are not stopped.
BENSON: Yeah, this is part of the reason, Senator, why I talk on this show a lot about the importance of the Senate races, and there's a lot of very close ones. So there were a few polls out yesterday from Quinnipiac -- and I just want to quickly warn people, Quinnipiac was catastrophically wrong in some of their polling last cycle. They had Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson winning their races; the Democrats down in Florida, by eight points on Election Day and they ended up both losing to the Republicans. So you know, Quinnipiac and other pollsters aren't exactly infallible, so I think that's important context. But the Q poll from yesterday showed Lindsay Graham tied in a place like South Carolina; Susan Collins down double digits in Maine. I'm skeptical of both of those numbers, but if they're even kind of ballpark, that would suggest to me that your majority that you're talking about is on the very thinnest of ice. Is that a fair assessment?
MCCONNELL: I think the honest answer is control of the Senate is a 50/50 proposition. We've got very close races all over the place. The reason we have so much exposure is this is the class that took the majority in 2014, so we have a lot of incumbents up; 23 of us up, only 12 of them. They're very close within a margin of error; races in Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, Maine and Georgia. So yeah, it's a 50/50 proposition. I think what the American people need to be fully aware of as they go to the polls, regardless of what they choose to do in the presidential race or the House of Representatives race, one thing that will guarantee the radicals don't take over for sure is to make sure I'm the majority leader and not Chuck Schumer. Because the one thing the majority leader gets to do that the other 99 don't get to do is to decide what we're going to do, and the biggest example of that during my tenure was my decision not to fill the Supreme Court vacancy when Justice Scalia passed away in the middle of the 2016 election. If I'm the majority leader and Chuck Schumer's not, we're not changing the filibuster rule, we're not admitting the District and Puerto Rico as states, and we're not packing the courts.
BENSON: Senator McConnell, I want to talk to you about something you addressed today on the Senate floor; election security. You gave a speech on that front. If you read sort of a lot of the op-ed pages around the country and certainly journalists and left-leaning Twitter, you have been the single biggest impediment to election security, to the point that people have accused you of all sorts of things, not wanting to have secure and free and fair elections in this country. You spoke about that at some length today on the Senate floor about what has been done, what needs to be done. What's your view on that broader subject, and what's your response to that narrative that I just described, that you're sort of like a one-man wrecking ball on behalf of Vladimir Putin?
MCCONNELL: Yeah, well the Democrats are doing the Chinese and the Russians' work for them by sowing doubt about our democracy, by trying to divide us against ourselves. But here are the facts, Guy. Since 2016, which did, as Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee admitted, kept us flat-footed, a lot of work has been done over the last four years. A huge number of dedicated experts have worked hard to improve our defenses, regain the country's trust. We've had 53 election security briefings to Congress since 2018. The 2018 election, by the way, was quite smooth. There were a few elections in 2019, they were as well. We've already set aside more than a billion dollars in various bills over the last few years; all of that money has not yet been spent by the states, so there's a reserve there in case they need more money. This is a solution in search of a problem. We are ready for the 2020 election. And the Trump administration, by any objective standard, has done a terrific job getting us in a totally different place from where the previous administration had us in 2016. So I've been pushing back against these scare tactics. I think they're all related to try to win the election. They're sowing seeds of doubt, which is exactly what the Russians and the Chinese like to hear.
BENSON: Last question on this. I've seen now for months, maybe the better part of a year, on sort of lefty trolls on social media, your nickname is Moscow Mitch, because they say, oh yeah, he's doing what the Kremlin wants -- all the stuff that we just talked about there, and to me, it's kind of like, OK, they're basically questioning McConnell's patriotism. They're essentially suggesting that he's a traitor. But, you know, people on social media will say stuff, and trolls will be trolls. But then I saw the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, just recently called you Moscow Mitch. That's a member of the leadership; it's the highest-ranking Democrat in Washington, D.C. What's your reaction when this speaker of the House calls you Moscow Mitch?
MCCONNELL: Well, it certainly underscores the deterioration of civility on Capitol Hill, and the president's always given a lot of grief about that. They ought to watch carefully what some of the Democratic leaders --
MCCONNELL: -- rhetoric is; it sounds to me an awful -- you know a pretty hot salsa (ph). We all, you know, ought to watch how we behave. And I think Schumer and Pelosi have been completely over the top. These kind of pejorative attacks against me, I can take, I'm a big boy. But I think it sure makes them look bad.
BENSON: And we've got to leave it there. I prefer Cocaine Mitch; I always have.
BENSON: That's Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, Republican of Kentucky. He's also up for reelection, doing quite well in that race, because the Democrats, I think, made a bad choice down there in Kentucky in their opponent against him. Senator McConnell, we always appreciate your time on this program.
MCCONNELL: Thanks a lot, Guy.