McConnell Gift Wraps $1B In Spending Perks To Kentucky Before Reelection

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Policy Conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center Auditorium June 27, 2019 in ... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Policy Conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center Auditorium June 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. Created as a bridge between conservative Tea Party movement and evangelical voters, the Faith and Freedom Coalition was founded by Christian conservative activist Ralph Reed in 2009. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 26, 2019 2:16 p.m.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) strong-armed $914.2 million in federal spending and tax breaks for Kentucky into the recently passed omnibus spending bill — and is making sure Kentuckians know about it.

In the midst of his reelection fight against leading Democratic challenger and veteran Amy McGrath, McConnell touted his Bluegrass state bounty during a recent press conference in Louisville, according to the Hill.

“I saw a commercial from my likely opponent indicating that I was all that was wrong with Washington,” he said. “So I have a question for her here as we go into the new year: In what way would Kentucky have been better off without any of these items that I put in the year-end spending bill?”

Some of those items are pension benefits for coal miners, tax breaks for spirit distilleries and a new veterans medical center. McConnell claimed “direct responsibility” for those perks at the press conference.

McGrath has proved herself an adept fundraiser so far, and McConnell is battling unpopularity in his home state. However, he’s running to secure his seventh term in the Senate — a savvy and cautious politician, he has overcome his own lack of popularity many times before. And this Christmas gift to his state will likely help.

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