Mitch McConnell says Kentucky's vacancy bill is “the best way to go”

by Jenny Mount · Mar 31st, 2021 11:40 am
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Last Updated Apr 1st, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented on his position in the Senate after the passage of a state bill regarding appointments to empty Senate seats, saying that he was "not going anywhere."

The bill, known as SB 228, requires the Kentucky governor to fill an empty seat in the Senate with a person from the same political party as the departing senator. The governor is provided a list of three people given to him by the executive committee of the departing lawmaker's party.

Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed SB 228, arguing that it goes against the U.S. Constitution's 17th Amendment. According to Beshear, one of the goals of that amendment was to take away "power from political party bosses."

"Senate Bill 228 violates that very purpose of the amendment by returning the power, specifically in law, to a political party to come up with names for a vacancy," said Beshear.

However, the Republican-controlled state legislature overrode the previous veto of the bill on Monday.

"I don't think we're going to have a vacancy. I'm not going anywhere. I just got elected to a six-year term. And I'm still the leader of my party in the Senate, so this is a hypothetical," McConnell said. "But I had watched this over the years in the Senate as various vacancies were filled and I thought this was the best way to go."

McConnell believes that filling the vacancy by a person of the same party honors the people's choice in the last election and said the next step is to "as rapidly as possible let the people decide rather than the governor."


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