McConnell on ‘The Hugh Hewitt Show’

Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined ‘The Hugh Hewitt Show’ with Hugh Hewitt this morning to discuss the Democrats’ socialist agenda, potential gun legislation, reshaping the federal judiciary, and the ongoing protests in Hong Kong:

On stopping the Democrats’ socialist agenda:

“That’s what the election [is] about next year, and the American people somehow are going to have to sort out all of this. And what I hope they’ll do is tune a good bit of this [rhetoric] out and focus on the facts, which are that if the Democrats get power again, they’re going to turn us into a socialist country. The Green New Deal, Medicare for all, add it all up, and you have fundamentally changed America into a country it’s never been before.

“That’s what’s really at stake next year, not all of this hot rhetoric, but the cold, hard reality of what they’ll do if they get power.”

On potential gun legislation:

“We’re in a discussion about what to do on the gun issue in the wake of these horrendous shootings. I said several weeks ago that if the President took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor. And the administration is in the process of studying what they are prepared to support, if anything. And I expect to get an answer to that next week. If the President is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it it’ll become law, I’ll put it on the floor.”

On reshaping the federal judiciary:

“We’re not going to leave a single vacancy behind by the end of next year. And it’s noteworthy that the Democrats are now trying to intimidate the Supreme Court. I wonder if you saw the letter… [s]igned by a number of them threatening the Supreme Court by claiming it is not well, which is utter nonsense, and also threatening to pack the Court if the Democrat signers of the letter didn’t get a particular outcome in a case that they filed an amicus brief in. Look, there’s nothing wrong with filing an amicus brief. I’ve done that. Never in one did it cross my mind that it was a good idea to threaten the Court that if they didn’t decide the way I wanted to, we’d expand the number. All 53 of my members, every single one of them, wrote a letter to the Court telling them not to be intimidated by these kinds of suggestions, and that we supported judicial independence.”

“So look, they can whine about this all day long. But under the Constitution, there is co-responsibility for appointments. The President makes the nomination, and the Senate confirms. We are partners in the personnel business up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.”

On the ongoing protests in Hong Kong:

“I passed the Hong Kong Policy Act way back in 1992, which requires an annual report from the State Department on whether or not the Chinese are keeping the agreement they made with the British prior to the handover. And in the last few years, those reports have been very critical. I’m going to be supporting legislation to enhance those requirements. And I think this is a pivotal moment for the Chinese…This is a seminal moment, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Chinese manage it.”

“I think it requires a significant response from us, in my opinion. I think that if the Chinese do crush this what I would call ‘peaceful’ attempt to maintain their rights, it requires, it seems to me, America, which is known internationally for standing up for human rights, to speak up and to take more forceful action. That’s what I would recommend to the President. Obviously, that’s his decision in the end.”

“You know, we have 75,000 Americans who live and work in Hong Kong as well. That’s truly an international city that has enjoyed a Western-style freedom for a very long time. I think the Chinese are playing with fire here, and hopefully they will not go too far.”

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