McConnell: Dems are trying to ‘distract’ from ObamaCare failures

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellObama administration officials ramp up push for Pacific pact Overnight Defense: GOP leaders express concerns after 9/11 veto override | Lawmakers press for Syria 'plan B' | US touts anti-ISIS airstrikes Overnight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform MORE (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of manufacturing a fight on President Obama’s nominees in order to distract the public from the failures of ObamaCare.

“The left believes the president’s agenda runs straight through the D.C. Circuit Court, that’s why they pressured Senate Democrats to break the rules to change rules — to pack the D.C. Circuit Court,” McConnell said Wednesday. “None of it should distract us from what ObamaCare is doing to our healthcare system.”

Senate Republicans are setting up a 30-hour talkathon to debate the nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the D.C. Circuit Court. A vote on her confirmation is scheduled for 1 a.m. Thursday unless Republicans agree to yield back time.

Republicans are expected to force the full use of debate time because they are frustrated that Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate filibuster rules last month, allowing several of Obama’s nominees that were previously blocked to get up-or-down votes this week.

The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court — under a filibuster, 60 votes are needed. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered the “nuclear option” to make the change. It allows the Senate’s rules to be changed by a majority vote.

McConnell read several letters from his constituents complaining about losing their existing healthcare plans because they don’t meet new requirements under ObamaCare. He called the healthcare law a “gargantuan, massive mistake” that has slowed the economic recovery.