McConnell explains why he should keep his spot on the Senate AG Committee -- even if he skips the meetings

08/22/2014 07:50 AM

LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, says being on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee can serve its purposes — even if he is too busy to attend the meetings.

On Wednesday, McConnell’s Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes repeatedly went on the offensive during the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s “Measure the Candidates” forum on McConnell’s nearly three years of absences from the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“When it comes to the Agriculture Committee did Senator McConnell bother to show up? No, for nearly three years he has missed every agriculture committee meeting,” Grimes said at the forum.

Grimes’ remarks came after a story written Tuesday by ‘The Hill’ which detailed McConnell’s time away from the committee, and before the event even took place Grimes’ campaign launched a web ad knocking McConnell for his time outside of the committee.

In his remarks to the forum McConnell defended his absences away from the committee mocking Grimes saying even her “friend and supporter” U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, must not have told her about how party leaders deal with committee work.

“You don’t have time to do justice to committee work if you’re one of the party leaders. You’re involved in other issues much more — honestly — much more consequential issues than being there for a particular hearing on a subject that may or may not be relevant to what’s going on,” McConnell explained to the members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau in attendance.

After the event McConnell took questions from reporters who asked if he should follow suit and vacate his position on the Agriculture Committee.

“There are times when casting the vote with a proxy is important and so I do that from time to time when I think it makes a difference for Kentucky,” McConnell said.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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