Congressman Mo Brooks calls on Republicans to ‘Ditch Mitch’ McConnell
With yet another Senate failure to reform health care, Republican Congressman Mo Brooks is calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to step down.
McConnell’s majority fractured again last night, with three Republican senators joining Democrats to defeat the latest, and perhaps last attempt to repeal Obamacare. In a floor speech following the vote, McConnell said "it is time to move on" to other items on the Senate’s agenda.
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks rejected McConnell’s decision to give up on legislative efforts to reform health care. Brooks said that he hopes "that the Senate will not quit." He told CNN that "Now is not the time to leave the American people in a lurch. Now is not the time to leave American health care at risk."
Brooks placed responsibility for the failure on the shoulders of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
"Lets be clear about what’s happened over the last 24 hours in the United States Senate to do what America needs doing. It was a failure from the newest member Luther Strange at the bottom, to the very top with Mitch McConnell as majority leader. And I hope that the Senate will not quit. I would urge the Senate to stay in Washington D.C. until the job gets done."
"So I hope they don’t quit. And if they’re gonna quit, then by golly, maybe they oughta start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins, that they can come up with a plan that can get through the United States Senate and serve the needs of the American people."
"Unquestionably the leadership at the top is responsible. The buck stops there, that’s why you take on that kind of responsibility, and if Mitch McConnell cannot get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump’s agenda over the next three-and-a-half years? As I see it right now, this is a killer."
"It’s not necessarily anything bad about Mitch McConnell himself personally. But he’s got a job to do, and if he can’t do it then, as ‘The Apprentice’ would say, ‘you’re fired,’ get somebody who can."
This is not Representative Brooks’ first criticism of McConnell’s leadership. Just two days ago, he said McConnell "is the head of the swamp in the U.S. Senate." Brooks is competing for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, and has said that if elected to the seat, that he would not support McConnell as majority leader.
Nor is this the first time that Brooks has bucked congressional leadership. In 2015, Brooks publicly opposed the reelection of John Boehner as House Speaker, although he ultimately ended up voting for Boehner when a viable replacement did not emerge. Brooks was among the Congressman rewarded by SarahPAC for their opposition to Boehners continued reign as House Speaker.
Earlier this year, Alabama Governor Robert G. Bentley selected Luther Strange to fill the spot left empty by Jeff Sessions appointment to serve as Attorney General in the Trump administration. Nine Republican candidates are vying for the vacated seat. A primary election will take place on August 15th. If no candidate exceeds 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election between the top two vote-getters will be held on September 26th. The winning Republican candidate will face off against the Democrat nominee in a special election on December 12th.
In recent polling, Brooks is running a somewhat distant third, trailing Strange, and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
U.S. Senator Luther Strange and former Chief Justice Roy Moore are in a statistical tie less than three weeks before the Republican Primary for a statewide special election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate, according to an exclusive new poll by the Raycom News Network and Strategy Research out of Mobile.
The crowded Republican field finds only three candidates with double digit support. Sen. Strange received 35% support of “likely” registered voters; Moore received 33% and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks appears to be a distant third with 16% in the survey.
Strange and Moore are the only two of a nine candidate Republican field who have ever been elected to statewide office. Rep. Brooks serves Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Huntsville.
"I don’t want to to count Mo (Brooks) out," pollster Jon Gray of Strategic Research and Public Relations said. "He’s got money and he just started spending on TV, but Judge Moore is neck and neck with Luther Strange." (WBRC)
Congressman Brooks’ criticisms of McConnell may be motivated in part by the strong support that Luther Strange has received from Mitch McConnell. In a state where distrust of the D.C. establishment runs deep, Brooks may be attempting to reveal to Alabama voters that Strange is just another product being marketed to them by the Washington swamp.
Brooks’s distaste for McConnell likely stems from the fact that the majority leader has thrown his weight behind Strange, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by the attorney general in the months before the special election.
McConnell has told groups such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee to treat Strange as the incumbent, a designation that gives him a major leg up on fundraising and organizational muscle, considering the NRSC has a policy to blacklist vendors that work with candidates challenging their incumbents.
The Senate Leadership Fund, the de facto super PAC of GOP Senate leadership, has already hammered Brooks with a $2.5 million ad campaign […] The group has budgeted up to $10 million for the race. And the NRSC has the green light to spend $350,000 on Strange’s behalf. (The Hill)