McConnell: After A ‘Pretty Partisan’ Year, We’ll Work With Dems In 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., discusses the GOP agenda for next year and touts his accomplishments in the first year of the Trump Administration, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. The six-term Kentucky lawmaker will face an even slimmer GOP majority, 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats, in January when Alabama Democrat Doug Jones is seated. Two other long-serving Republicans, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, have been sidelined with health issues. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday morning said the Senate had a “pretty partisan” year in 2017 but claimed that 2018 will be less so.

At his year-end press conference, McConnell said that the chamber must work on bipartisanship next year because Republicans have a slim majority and therefore cannot pass much legislation without help from Democrats.

“I don’t think most of our Democratic colleagues want to do nothing,” he told reporters.

McConnell said that in 2018 the Senate will likely tackle banking regulations and a fix to restore the protections from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

In previous remarks, McConnell has established expectations for legislative action in the coming year. On Thursday, he said that the Senate will likely work on infrastructure legislation, and told an Axios panel that Democrats would prevent the Senate from pursuing changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plans to make cuts to those programs.

McConnell also said on Thursday that Republicans will “probably move on” from trying to repeal Obamacare in 2018, though on Friday he told reporters that Republicans would make another push to repeal the law “as soon as we have the votes to achieve that.”