Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R) discussed current issues; including the federal debt, the 2012 presidential campaign and immigration; with Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, at a luncheon on August 30. The event was co-hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, the North Chamber and The Greater Chamber.
McConnell first discussed the federal debt ceiling issue that has been a widely-debated topic throughout the country in recent weeks.
“[Federal spending] needs to be drastically reduced, and while revenue generation options should be considered, there needs to be reductions in entitlement programs and an overall reform of the tax system,” he said.
In light of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Smith asked whether McConnell was ready to throw his support to any of the Republican candidates at this time. McConnell politely responded that he will support the candidate that wins the Republican primary, but that if the election were to occur tomorrow, he felt confident the country would have a new president.
Turning towards the subject of immigration, McConnell indicated that he believes policy reform should be taken one step at a time.
“With such a complicated issue,” he said, “there will be too many challenges trying to pass a comprehensive overhaul of the system at one time.”
On numerous occasions, McConnell cited that the best time to make difficult policy changes is often during a period of divided government like the nation is currently experiencing, with a Republican majority in Congress and a Democrat in the White House. This is because the division requires bipartisan approval up front, and there is less chance it will become a partisan issue and campaign rhetoric in the future.
Senator McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984. He currently serves as a senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules Committees. Click here for more information on Senator McConnell.
Video of the event was taped by Time Warner Cable can be viewed at the Texas Tribune website