United States Senator for Kentucky Mitch McConnell hosted a town hall meeting in Leitchfield on Thursday, Aug. 21.
Leitchfield was McConnell’s first stop on a three-county tour during which he spoke about agricultural issues in the state.
During his speech, McConnell said he was almost solely responsible for the two biggest agricultural advancements in recent memory: the tobacco buyout and the estate tax exemption for farming families.
McConnell also discussed how, thanks to his “friendship” with Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner and House Republicans, he helped pass the bipartisan Farm Bill, which allows the State of Kentucky to grow industrial hemp.
McConnell then said because Senate Republicans are not the majority, it has become exceedingly difficult to accomplish anything.
“We don’t even vote anymore,” McConnell said.
McConnell said to those who are unhappy with the direction of the country, are displeased with the administration of President Barack Obama, and think the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and the war on coal are mistakes, change the Senate majority and the Senate Majority Leader, who sets the Senate’s agenda, “to a guy from Kentucky.”
“If you’re not happy with the direction of the country, make me the leader of the Senate,” McConnell said. “…The only way to change the direction of the country is to change the leadership in the Senate.”
On his opponent in the upcoming November general election, Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell said she is a “new face for the status quo - for no change at all.”
McConnell then spoke on the Affordable Care Act, which he said “was the single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years.”
According to McConnell, the act, which has expanded Medicaid in the State of Kentucky, will ultimately cost the country 2.5 million jobs.
“If we are given the opportunity to get rid of it, we’re going to,” said McConnell of the act.
McConnell said he would instead create a national health insurance market with a federal malpractice standard and allow small businesses to come together to have more pull in a competitive market.
To close his discussion about the Affordable Care Act, McConnell quoted the late Sir Winston Churchill: “Americans always do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else out first.”
“Obamacare is an example of that,” McConnell said.
Outside Leitchfield’s Centre on Main, where the town hall meeting took place, were a group of protesters who spoke against McConnell’s various political positions.
“We’re here to welcome Mitch to Leitchfield in our own way,” said Larry Hovekamp, a protester from Louisville.
Hovekamp said the protesters represented a number of groups throughout the state who are opposed to McConnell’s obstructionism particularly with healthcare, employment, unemployment benefits, and veterans benefits.
In closing, Hovekamp said he had a doctor’s appointment scheduled following the protest, “which I can hardly afford without Kynect.”