McConnell: Blocking Garland Was Most ‘Consequential Decision’ Of My Career

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks at  a news conference about the Republican tax plan and how the GOP says it will help small business, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

After serving more than three decades in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) counts blocking the nomination of President Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland as the “most consequential decision” he’s made in his “entire public career,” he told Kentucky Today earlier this week.

“You’ve heard me say before that I thought the decision I made not to fill the Supreme Court vacancy when Justice Scalia died was the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career,” he said. “The things that will last the longest time, those are my top priorities.”

McConnell effectively blocked Garland’s nomination by refusing to grant a committee hearing for the Obama nominee after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia died in February 2016. That move eventually led to the appointment of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee, maintaining the majority conservative ideological divide of the high court.

He called his party’s success in passing a tax reform package last year “noteworthy,” but indicated it wouldn’t be permanent if Democrats are able to get control of Congress again.

“It’s noteworthy that when we did comprehensive tax reform 30 years ago, we left it alone for four years before the political winds shifted and we started playing with it again,” he told Kentucky Today.

“Believe me, the next time the political winds shift, and the other guys are in the ascendancy,” he continued, snapping his fingers, according to Kentucky Today. “But they won’t change these judges for a generation.”

Read the full interview with Kentucky Today here.

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