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

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer tees up key Thursday vote on debt deal House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale 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.