Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19 roundup: Grimes mum on Obama's Iraq move; McConnell coal measure vexes Democrats

Sen. Mitch McConnell's office puts him in a position to make news, and he did so today:
  • McConnell, who had called for unspecified asistance to Iraq, criticized President Obama today after meeting with him yesterday about sending 300 Special Forces to the threatened nation. McConnell called "Obama as a dovish reluctant warrior who 'has weakened the national security posture of the United States' to the point that 'He is likely to leave the next president with daunting security problems to solve'," William Douglas of McClatchy Newspapers reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has opposed sending U.S. troops to Iraq, did not respond to requests for comment on Obama's move. 
  • Senate Democrats pulled an energy appropriations bill from consideration today after McConnell tried to amend it with his legislation to block Obama's proposed regulations limiting carbon-dioxide emissions to fight climate change. “Democrats on the committee have confirmed the White House threatened to veto the bill over my pro-coal amendment, thus confirming what we already know: The Obama administration will stop at nothing to pursue its war on coal,” McConnell said.
  • Joe Gerth of The Courier-Journal writes that Grimes is trying to change the discussion because Obama's regulations have put her "on the defensive." Grimes is trying to change the subject to wages and "criticizing McConnell for 'suddenly' showing concern for the fact that salaries are not rising in America." Grimes noted McConnell's floor speech and press release from yesterday. She attacked McConnell for voting against increasing Kentuckians' wages, while McConnell said Democrats keep blocking Republican proposals to help the middle class.
  • With McConnell coming to Northern Kentucky for an unspecified "legislative announcement" Friday, "There's talk that new legislation in Washington could break the stalemate over building a new Brent Spence Bridge," WCPO's Tom McKee reports. "The other speculation is that another $12 million will be allocated for riverfront development in Covington."

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