Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a radio interview that he didn’t expect the Senate to appoint any new circuit or Supreme Court justices while President Obama is still in office.
McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt “So far, the only judges we’ve confirmed have been federal district judges that have been signed off on by Republican senators.”
Hewitt followed up by asking, “And do you expect that that will continue to be the case for the balance of this session?” To which McConnell replied, “I think that’s highly likely, yeah.”
Despite his declaration, he then proceeded to praise the Senate for working together. “We had 15 roll call votes in all of 2014, we have had 120 or so so far this year,” he said.
“We’ve passed bipartisan bills on requiring the president to submit his deal with the Iranians on nuclear weapons to Congress, we’ve done a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill,” McConnell said.
“The Senate is up and running and certainly functioning again.”
No matter McConnell’s assessment of the Senate’s effectiveness, the fact remains that it took them nearly six months to approve Loretta Lynch for the Attorney General position. Throughout that time, Congress was deadlocked over an abortion provision in an unrelated immigration bill.
McConnell acknowledge that more standoffs could take place. “It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have great debates,” he said.