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Tags: kentucky | gop | senate | mcconnell

Ky. GOP Aims to Strip Governor of Power to Replace McConnell

By    |   Friday, 01 March 2024 09:56 PM EST

Kentucky Republicans advanced a bill that would strip the state's Democrat governor of being able to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy and would instead call for a special election.

The state House Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee voted to advance HB 622 on Thursday, the day after Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced he would step down as GOP leader in November.

McConnell vowed to "finish the job" Kentuckians "hired" him to do when he was reelected in 2020. But as the senator is 82 years old and had a pair of high-profile medical episodes this past year, Bluegrass State Republicans aren't taking any chances.

However, the state's GOP leader denied that the bill has anything to do with McConnell; to wit, the bill was filed eight days ago, before McConnell's announcement.

"I had no idea that the senator was going to make his announcement yesterday," the House majority floor leader and bill sponsor, Steven Rudy of Paducah, said Thursday, adding that "nobody is guaranteed tomorrow."

"Not Sen. [Rand] Paul. Not Sen. McConnell. Not myself," he said.

Instead, Kentucky Republicans likely began a remedy after Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a 2021 bill that would require him to choose between a slate of three candidates put forth by the party of the outgoing senator in the event of a sudden vacancy. Beshear's veto was overruled, but he refused to commit to adhering to it nonetheless, the Washington Examiner reported.

Now HB 622 moves to remove appointment power from the governor's hands altogether.

"God forbid we have any vacancy in a U.S. [Senate seat]. I think the people would want to decide who their senator was," Rudy said.

McConnell is the longest-serving Senate party leader of all time.

"I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, however," McConnell said Wednesday on the Senate floor. "I will complete the job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January.

"I will finish the job the people of Kentucky hired me to do as well — albeit from a different seat in the chamber. I am looking forward to that."

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Kentucky Republicans advanced a bill that would strip the state's Democrat governor of being able to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy and would instead call for a special election.
kentucky, gop, senate, mcconnell
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2024-56-01
Friday, 01 March 2024 09:56 PM
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