McConnell: ‘Highly likely’ Senate won’t appoint new circuit, SCOTUS judges

Francis Rivera

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday he does not expect his chamber will appoint new circuit or Supreme Court justices for President Obama.
“So far, the only judges we’ve confirmed have been federal district judges that have been signed off on by Republican senators,” McConnell said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”
“And do you expect that that will continue to be the case for the balance of this session?” Hewitt asked.
{mosads}“I think that’s highly likely, yeah,” McConnell responded.
McConnell also praised Senate lawmakers for their renewed discipline and bipartisan cooperation this year.
“We had 15 roll call votes in all of 2014, we have had 120 or so so far this year,” he said.
“We’ve passed bipartisan bills on requiring the president to submit his deal with the Iranians on nuclear weapons to Congress, we’ve done a bipartisan trade promotion authority bill,” McConnell said.
“The Senate is up and running and certainly functioning again.”
The Kentucky lawmaker added that despite such progress, he could see future Congressional standoffs still taking place.
“It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have great debates,” McConnell said.
“One of the biggest ones is going to be the issue you and I were discussing earlier – how much are we going to spend and where we’re going to spend it,” he added. “We think defense of the nation is job one.”
The Senate is mulling whether to pass a defense policy bill that would lock in federal spending caps.
Obama has vowed he will veto any proposed legislation that cements such limits.
GOP lawmakers have tried circumnavigating the caps by placing money in a war fund not subject to the restrictions.
Democrats have both rejected that move, arguing the caps should not impact non-defense spending.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest urged Congress to find a compromise as soon as possible.
Obama wants talk over a bargain “sooner rather than later,” he said Thursday.
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