Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, addresses the Friends of Rough River Lake during a luncheon held at the Rough River lodge on Tuesday afternoon.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, addresses the Friends of Rough River Lake during a luncheon held at the Rough River lodge on Tuesday afternoon.

Following the recent passage of the America's Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which waived any administrative fees charged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Rough River Lake property owners found in violation of the Corps' flowage easement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, visited Rough River Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the occasion. 

McConnell discussed the process of waiving the fees at a Friends of Rough River Lake luncheon at the lodge in Falls of Rough, and said that, in order to ensure the fees were waived, he and U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, determined that the law would need to be changed.

"It's nice to be able to get results," said McConnell, before discussing the leading issues in federal government.

"Being Senate majority leader is a little bit like being groundskeeper at a cemetery," he said. "Everybody is under you, and nobody's listening." 

He said the most important votes each year are the first: selecting Senate majority leader, who then sets the Senate's agenda for its session.

McConnell said that by ascending to Senate majority leader in 2015, he was able to make the "unilateral decision" in 2016 to not permit then-President Barack Obama to appoint a replacement Supreme Court Justice for Antonin Scalia, following his death.

This, he said, was the first step in a project to re-direct the country in the direction he wanted it to go: right of center.

McConnell said he determined that the way to to do this was through the court system, and after Republicans gained a majority in Congress, as well as the White House in President Donald Trump, the project was set into motion.

First he oversaw Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court, as well as the appointment of 29 Circuit Court judges. Then, McConnell saw to the appointment of a second Supreme Court Justice in Brett Kavanaugh, despite highly publicized allegations of sexual assault and public outcry. 

McConnell said the issue, for him, ultimately came down to the presumption of innocence, and, following the FBI's limited-scope investigation into the sexual assault allegations brought against Kavanaugh that showed no evidence or corroboration of the allegations, the Senate ultimately moved forward with Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

McConnell said that, during the hearing and confirmation process for Kavanaugh, he and other senators "were being assaulted by an angry mob," who were trying to "intimidate" them into opposing Kavanaugh. 

Provided Republicans maintain a majority in Congress following Tuesday's mid-term election, McConnell said, his "Judge Project" will continue; however, he does not see why Democrats are concerned about Republicans' appointed judges/justices because they are meant to follow the law, regardless of personal opinion.

According to McConnell, he believes they are scared because they view these judges as another way to get an outcome. 

Despite Republicans and Democrats' disagreements, however, McConnell said it is wrong to assume they don't like each other, citing the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a sweeping bill to address opioid addiction that passed the senate on a 99 to 1 vote, as evidence that they can still work together.

There is "no lack of collegiality" among his colleagues, but there are "big differences" in what they feel the country should be like, McConnell said.  

This is why Americans, he said, should not worry that their country will not be OK in the wake of acts of violence, such as the deadly shootings at a Kroger in Kentucky and a synagogue in Pennsylvania. These acts, McConnell said, are the works of "deranged" individuals who do not represent the country as a whole. 

"Your country is going to be OK," McConnell said.