Mitch McConnell isn’t going to have another government shutdown on his watch.
The Kentucky Republican stood up over the weekend and said he wanted to address the “elephant in the room” at a fundraising retreat in Sea Island, Ga. Speaking before roughly 300 K Streeters and big donors, McConnell said Republicans will not come close to defaulting on the nation’s debts or shutting down the government early next year when stop-gap government funding and the debt ceiling are slated to be voted on again.
His remarks echoed similar comments he made following the shutdown that it was “not conservative policy” and that he always believed “this strategy could not and would not work.”
“He’s in fighting mode,” said one attendee of McConnell. “He didn’t get into specifics about what they are doing and how they are going to do it, but McConnell and (Texas Sen. John) Cornyn were particularly forceful.”
The attendee said McConnell “said everything that needed to be said” to help tamp down growing concern among bundlers and donors over how the GOP continues to be paralyzed by anti-establishment members like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Neither lawmaker attended the event.
Considering McConnell and the GOP leadership did everything they could to encourage and then agree to the shutdown in the first place, why would anyone believe Mitch now? If you believed it wasn't going to work, then why did you allow it to happen, Mitch? If you actually had any clout over Ted Cruz or the Tea Party in the House, why didn't you use it to stop the shutdown earlier this month?
The answer is that this is a promise you can't keep, and Kentucky voters like me know it.