BALTIMORE—As Democrats threatened to use the senate floor this year to attack the GOP's presidential candidates, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that those tactics can go both ways.
McConnell, asked about a statement by Minority Leader Harry Reid threatening to force votes on Donald Trump’s policies, said Thursday that should Democrats force votes to embarrass his party's candidates for president, they could expect votes targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders in return.
“Generally speaking, I’ve tried to avoid turning the Senate into a studio for the presidential campaign, but it’s worth noting that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander," McConnell told reporters, while huddling with fellow Republican lawmakers at a three-day retreat in Baltimore. “And so, they could expect amendments that they may not like related to the Sanders or the Clinton campaign.”
“But as a general rule,” McConnell added Thursday, “what I’ve tried to ask the Senate to do is let the presidential candidates run their race and let’s try to do the people’s business.”
The fight is the inevitable result of McConnell's commitment to an open process, in which members will be free to offer their own amendments, as he attempts to pass 12 appropriations bills through Congress for the first time since 1994.