Conservative commentator Erick Erickson has called on Senate Republicans to oust their Majority Leader, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Erickson asserted that McConnell was not fit to carry out President Donald Trump's legislative agenda (video below).
On July 19, Erickson blasted McConnell for not corralling enough votes to debate the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the GOP proposal to repeal and replace the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act (ACA). The conservative commentator accused McConnell of intentionally derailing Trump's agenda.
"He doesn't seem to be down with the president's agenda," Erickson told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
"Where's the wall?" Erickson continued. "Where's tax reform? Where's Obamacare repeal? These are all things that go to the Senate and then they suddenly die."
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Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. In order for McConnell to push an ACA repeal or replacement while avoiding a Democratic filibuster, he would need 50 Republican votes to pass a measure through budget reconciliation. Erickson asserted that the GOP majority was more than enough to repeal the ACA without eliminating the chamber's filibuster.
"We can't even blame the filibuster for this because the way they structured Obamacare repeal you only needed 50 votes plus the vice president," Erickson said. "They can't even get that with Mitch McConnell."
That same morning, Erickson laid out his case for Senate Republicans to oust their leader in an editorial for Fox News.
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"McConnell, again and again, stacks the deck against conservatives, setting them up to be the fall guy for his own failures. ... The entirety of the GOP agenda is stuck in the Senate where Mitch McConnell seems intent to let it all die on the vine while blaming conservatives," Erickson wrote.
The conservative commentator concluded that conservatives were not hindering Trump's agenda "but the Senate leader himself."
On July 17, the BCRA's prospects for passage became grim when four Senate Republicans came out against the bill. McConnell announced that evening that he would hold a vote the next week to debate an ACA repeal with a two-year delay.
On July 18, McConnell's repeal plan appeared to be dead on arrival when three Senate Republicans announced that they would not vote to repeal the ACA without an immediate replacement.
Several of the Senate Majority Leader's colleagues have defended him following the setbacks to their agenda.
"I don't think it's McConnell," GOP Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas told Politico. "We had individual senators on the conservative side [who said] don't pass anything that would be 'Obamacare Lite.' And on the other side people saying it's not enough. It was just the perfect storm."
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who opposed both the BCRA and the repeal-only plan, stated, "I'm not going to second guess the leader."
On July 18, McConnell disputed suggestions that he and his colleagues had not made progress on their conservative agenda.
"Well, we have a new Supreme Court Justice," McConnell said during a press conference. "And we're only six months into this. Last time I looked, Congress goes on for two years, and we'll be moving onto comprehensive tax reform, infrastructure. There's much work left to be done."