McConnell Says He’s Ready to Work With House Democrats on Infrastructure
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s ready to work with the new House Democratic majority to fund infrastructure and make health-care improvements, including lower prescription drug prices.
McConnell, who is slated to continue as leader in January, told reporters he spoke Tuesday night with Nancy Pelosi, in line to return as speaker of the House after eight years in the minority.
"We discussed ways we might be able to find a way forward," said McConnell of Kentucky, who also said Senate Republicans "had a very good day" in the midterm elections. The GOP is on track to increase its 51-49 majority, with several races still undecided.
He also said a lame-duck session of the current Congress will seek to avoid a partial government shutdown and reach an agreement on funding President Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexican border.
When Democrats take over the House in January, "it’s pretty obvious" they won’t be interested in the GOP goals of repealing Obamacare, the majority leader said, adding that there may be some bipartisan changes in health care. Regarding prescription drug prices, he said, "I can’t imagine that that won’t be on the agenda."
McConnell said he doesn’t expect to seek cuts in entitlement programs amid Democratic opposition.
In January, Republican Mike Braun will take over Democrat Joe Donnelly’s Indiana seat, Republican Kevin Cramer ousted Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Josh Hawley defeated Claire McCaskill in Missouri.
Those three victories were tempered by Republican Dean Heller’s loss of his Nevada seat to Democrat Jacky Rosen.
Three races are still too close to call: Arizona, where Democrats could pick up a seat, and Florida and Montana, where they may lose two more. The Senate race in Mississippi is headed to a runoff between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy, but the Republican is widely expected to prevail.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.