On February 20, 1942, Addison Mitchell McConnell III was born. He is an American politician and retired attorney who has been the Senate minority leader since 2021 and the senior United States senator representing Kentucky since 1985. He previously served as Senate majority leader from 2015 to 2021, and as minority leader from 2007 to 2015. He is a Republican.
McConnell was first elected to the United States Senate in 1984, and he is just the second Kentuckian to serve as a Senate party leader. He served as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 election cycles.
In the 108th Congress, he was elected Majority Whip and re-elected in 2004. He was elected Senate minority leader in November 2006, a position he maintained until Republicans seized control of the Senate in 2015.
McConnell retains conservative political ideas, despite his early political career as a pragmatic and moderate Republican. He led the case against stronger campaign finance restrictions, culminating in the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC in 2010, which largely invalidated the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold).
During the Obama administration, McConnell used the filibuster to withhold Republican support for significant presidential initiatives, and he rejected numerous of President Barack Obama’s judicial choices, including Supreme Court candidate Merrick Garland.
Within Trump’s presidency, the Senate Republican majority, led by him, confirmed a record number of federal appeals court justices during a president’s first two years, as well as Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court. McConnell supported many of Trump’s policies.
However, he was critical of Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and despite voting to acquit Trump on his second impeachment trial (for reasons related to the constitutionality of impeaching a former president) he deemed Trump “practically and morally responsible” for the 2021 United States Capitol attack.
Something you might not know about the Ukraine and Russia situation
While the war between Russia and Ukraine might seem like a recent occurrence, the lead up for it has been going on for decades.
Since Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, the Russian government had been doing everything it could to re-establish the Russian Empire. After years of failed negotiations, Russia knew that the only way to gain Ukraine back was by force.
This is why in 2004, Russia wanted to get Viktor Yanukovych elected in Ukraine, who was a Pro-Russian politician. Yanukovych was going up against Viktor Yushchenko, who was a Pro-Ukrainian politician.
Russia turned to election rigging to make sure that Yanukovych won. They even plotted and attempted assassination on Yushchenko. Then Yushchenko was poisoned with dangerous amounts of TCDD, the most potent dioxin.
Once in the environment, dioxins take a long time to degrade. Dioxins are very toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, immune system damage, and hormone interference. Overnight, Yushchenko’s face turned horrifically scarred.
Doctors found Dioxin levels in his blood that was 6000X higher than normal.
One of the men accused of the poisoning fled to Russia, where he was immediately given citizenship. The election rigging also worked, Pro-Russian candidate Yanukovych won.
Mitch McConnell says Republicans who support Putin are ‘lonely voices’ within the party
Republicans who support Vladimir Putin over the Russian invasion of Ukraine are “lonely voices” in the party, Mitch McConnell said.
However, the Senate minority leader declined an offer to state that such Republicans should be kicked out of the party or face disciplinary action. The Republican Party is tinged with support for or affection for Putin.
Former President Donald Trump, who still has a solid grip on the Republican Party, has hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin as “smart” despite criticizing the Ukraine conflict.
Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene, both far-right members of Congress and staunch Trump fans have also made contentious remarks. Cawthorn has referred to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelinskiy, as a “thug” and his regime as “incredibly evil.” Greene has stated that the US should not financially help Ukraine in a war that it cannot win.