McConnell: 'Our Goal Is to Fund the Government'

Susan Jones | November 19, 2014 | 9:50am EST
Font Size

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., is seen on Nov. 13, 2014, after the GOP rank-and-file chose him to be the new Senate majority leader. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters on Tuesday, "Our goal is to fund the government."

A reporter asked McConnell if he would like to see a short-term spending bill pass, giving Republicans time to work on individual appropriations bills in the next Congress.

"Yeah, we expect the House to go first," McConnell said. "And I anticipate supporting whatever the House sends over. And so, I think we're going to wait and see how the House handles this...But our goal is to fund the government."

In response to another question, McConnell said, "It's always appropriate" for Congress to "use the power of the purse." But he also noted that the president "has an important trump card -- it's called the veto pen.

"So, there will be ongoing negotiations in the various efforts to fund the government, both this year and next year, about priorities. This is not unusual. And we do have different priorities. And somehow we're going to have to work out things and make progress for the American people."

McConnell noted that the American voters "chose divided government," but that "doesn't mean they expect us not to do anything."

"And we're not going to be able to get everything exactly the way we want it, and he's not going to be able to get everything the way he wants it. That's why we have compromise.

"And we're going to do the best we can to try to change the direction of the country. We think the last six years have not been good for America. The only tool we have is the power of the purse, and so we'll have plenty of discussions in the course of the next year about our priorities and his."

At the White House on Tuesday, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said the president "would consider it to be unwarranted" for Republicans to use their power of the purse to block funding for Obama's anticipated executive action on immigration.

mrc merch