Hometown paper to McConnell: 'Now would be a good time to choose to lead'


At a time when America really needs leadership, Mitch McConnell is nowhere to be found.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has the power to end the Trump shutdown. He's just refuses to use it. Now even his hometown paper is calling him out for his lack of leadership on the issue.

In response to McConnell's refusal to allow a vote to reopen the government, the Lexington Herald-Leader Editorial Board wrote, "we have one word: Override."

The GOP-led Senate passed a spending bill in December with the unanimous consent of every single senator. Even if Trump does not like the funding levels, there seems to be enough support to override a potential veto and reopen the government.

But McConnell is refusing to exercise the powers granted to Congress in the constitution for the good of the country.

"Now would be a good time to choose to lead," the newspaper advised McConnell.

"McConnell, up for re-election next year, and other Senate Republicans understandably dread incurring Trump's wrath, especially since it might inspire a Republican challenger," the editorial added, highlighting McConnell's apparent decision to put his personal concerns ahead of the lives of so many Americans affected by the shutdown.

Other papers around the country are adding to the drumbeat.

"The nation is being held hostage by Trump and his dwindling base of wall-obsessed extremists," the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote. After recommending Congress override Trump's veto, the editorial calls out Republican leaders, saying, "the job of Republicans on Capitol Hill is not to bow to this mercurial president's whims."

Unfortunately, McConnell is doing nothing by bowing to Trump's whims. And Senate Democrats have noticed.

"The pressure will build on McConnell," Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) told Politico. "Because right now he has contracted out the whole Senate Republican caucus to President Trump and the White House. They're violating their constitutional duty."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led the House to pass bills to reopen the government. And rather than let him slink into the shadows and shirk his responsibilities, several Senate Democrats are planning to grind Senate business to a halt unless McConnell allows a vote on legislation to end the Trump shutdown.

"The power to end the shutdown is in two people's hands: Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The American people know Republicans have the power to end the shutdown. Editorial boards are calling for real leadership among GOP leaders.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.