Senator Mitch McConnell Speaks at Chamber Luncheon

Senator McConnellPam BroughMayor GoodlettJudge Executive Gritton

Amidst a number of protests, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was invited and spoke with a number of local residents during the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon about various legislative topics that are happening in Washington, DC.

The luncheon, which was held at the American Legion Hall and catered by Hill of Beans BBQ, attracted many for and against the senator.  Outside the fairgrounds area, hundreds gathered to protest.  Reporting on the protesting can be viewed by clicking here.

Inside the hall, only members of the chamber, those who previously purchased a ticket, and credentialed media were allowed inside, and no signs were allowed.  Pam Brough, director of the chamber, said that she was glad to see such high turnout both inside and outside the venue.  She also explained that the chamber is a non-political organization and welcomes any elected official of either party to speak during the time when they’re not campaigning.

Welcoming the senator was both Lawrenceburg Mayor Goodlett and County Judge Executive Orbrey Gritton.  “What an honor right here in Anderson County, Kentucky, to have a Senate Majority Leader in our midst,” said Judge Gritton.  Both officials encouraged visitors for the event to shop in town afterwards.

Senator McConnell, in his opening statement, talked first about how he was able to speak with Anderson County High School students who were originally barred from attending the event due to uncertainty about the protesting.  He said that he was able to answer a number of questions from students at the school and that the questions were fun and engaging.

He then talked about the protesting that was occurring outside the hall.  He said that although the protestors may not like his agenda, he respects them for coming out to express themselves.  However, he did indicate that he thought much of the protesting was from the results of the election.  He said that Kentucky conclusively expressed itself during the election with Secretary Clinton receiving a much smaller amount of votes versus Donald Trump.

Moving forward, Senator McConnell spoke heavily on economic growth and how to fully recover from the last recession.  He said that if the nation isn’t averaging 4% growth, it is falling behind, and during President Obama, the nation never exceeded 3%.  He said that this makes it the worse economic recovery from a deep recession since WWII.

He laid out three main factors that are causing the slow recovery: national debt increasing, higher taxes, and massive over regulation of the economy.  He said that the biggest complaint he has received from employers when traveling the nation is the over regulation.

With President Trump’s executive orders as well as work being done under the Congressional Review Act, he said that regulations are being dismantled.  But, he said that there is still very strong obstructionism from Democrats in the senate, preventing confirmations of the president’s nominees and other appointees for the administration.  He said that he hopes to see this break soon.

One of the other main factors for sluggish economic growth is the Affordable Care Act, according to the senator.  He feels that one of the pivotal points of the elections surrounded health care and that it is his belief to keep his commitment to voters wanting to repeal and replace it.

He also wants to reform the tax code to make America more competitive in the global markets.  He said that reforming the code shouldn’t involve creating a new hidden tax stream for the government but more on competitiveness so companies will be more willing to locate and keep their headquarters in the nation.

The senator also talked about the empty seat on the US Supreme Court.  He felt that it made sense to stall any nominees to the court until the next president could make a nomination decision, as has happened in the past.  He also praised President Trump for nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch.

At the end of the session, Senator McConnell took a number of questions from the audience.  They ranged from concerns about the Affordable Care Act to government assistance programs causing a lack of desire to work as well the drug epidemic.  There was also a question attacking President Trump on the Navy Seal raid in Yemen as well as coal jobs not coming back due to natural gas that the senator didn’t answer.

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