Politics

McConnell Hopes for Bipartisanship After Losing House

Senate majority leader wants to find 'a way forward' as Nancy Pelosi is likely to become speaker after Tuesday's results

Image Credit: Zach Gibson/Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday he hopes to find bipartisan ground to work with Democrats just a day after Republicans lost the House in the midterm elections.

“Over the course of last night and this morning, I talked to leader [Nancy] Pelosi,” McConnell said Wednesday morning.

“We discussed ways we might be able to find a way forward. She and I have actually had the chance to work together for a number of years when we were both on the Appropriations Committee. She had the Foreign Operations Subcommittee and so did I. So we’re not unfamiliar with each other, and we’ll probably have a lot more dealings with each other in the future.”

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President Donald Trump put in a massive ground game effort during the midterms, holding dozens of rallies across the country in recent months to stir support for conservative candidates.

McConnell added that the president was critical in the states in which he was popular.

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Democrats came into the race hoping to overwhelmingly win both congressional chambers in what they repeatedly referred to as a blue wave. But that didn’t happen; the results were more bittersweet for both sides. Republicans were able to win enough elections to hold onto their Senate majority, while Democrats picked up enough seats to take control of the House.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is now likely to become speaker.

“We first we have to finish this session. And we have another [group] of items,” McConnell said on Wednesday morning. “We have to finish the Farm Bill. We have to finish funding the government. The one issue Leader Pelosi and I discussed this morning where there could possibly be some bipartisan agreement is infrastructure. But it could be a lot of other things.”

Reagan historian and best-selling author Craig Shirley on Wednesday morning that the election results this year were likely unprecedented, with presidents on average losing 30 seats in the House and over five in the Senate. Democrats picked up 26 House seats with more to count as of Wednesday morning. But he also argued it could have been better if Republican consultants did a better job of messaging how good things have gotten in the country under Trump.

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“The fact of the matter is yesterday’s election was probably unprecedented in the history of off-year elections,” Shirley told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Wednesday morning. “This is a wonderful time to live in this country. We have millions of open jobs, we have low-interest rates, low inflation rates, the world is relatively at peace, the stock market is going crazy. I didn’t see any Republicans run any commercials talking about letting the good times roll, staying the course.”

The midterms overall have drawn a considerable amount of attention in a show of how much political unrest there is right now. Trump’s winning the presidential election in 2016 was seen by many as a rebuke of elitist dogma that hurt everyday people. But critics of Trump’s have seen the midterms as a way to challenge the president and what they see as a racist and hateful agenda on his part.

The Center for Responsive Politics released a report last week projecting that the current midterm elections would be the most expensive ever, at more than $5.2 billion.

Every prior election didn’t even surpass $4.2 billion in spending when adjusted for inflation. The overall estimated cost would represent a 35 percent increase from 2014.

For more on the 2018 midterms, check out this video:

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