U.S. Senate leaders share the stage in Louisville

02/12/2018 01:52 PM

LOUISVILLE — In a show of bipartisan spirit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, shared a stage in Louisville on Monday morning, days after finding consensus on a two-year budget deal.

Schumer appeared at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center Distinguished Speaker Series. This is the second time both Senate leaders have been on the same stage. The last time was in 2007 when former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, joined McConnell as a guest of the center.

In his remarks on Monday it was a cordial Schumer, who said McConnell and he get along in the Senate and are working for the good of the country, even though they’re from different sides of the political spectrum.

Debate begins this week in the US Senate on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Schumer said this week is a test on whether the Senate can weather the stormiest of weather. McConnell has promised Democrats debate and amendments over the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

Democrats don’t have a lot of leverage in a deal on dreamers, so it’s uncertain where that debate goes in the coming weeks. Another debate is over comprehensive immigration reforms. Schumer said he would like to see the gang of 8 bill he helped craft in 2013 come before the body if broader immigration reforms are taken up.

The cordiality continued from the stage as Schumer gifted McConnell a bottle of Brooklyn bourbon. McConnell proclaiming there is no such thing as Brooklyn bourbon.

The bourbon Schumer presented, Widow Jane, is actually distilled in Kentucky, but purchased barreled young and then taken to New York to age.

Schumer skirted controversy as he was asked about U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who has been blamed for causing a brief government shutdown as he opposed the bipartisan budget deal last week.

The Minority Leader found Paul’s argument to “ring hollow” after supporting a tax measure which would add to the national deficit by $1.5 trillion.

“If you’re going to be a deficit hawk, you’ve got to be a deficit hawk all the way through,” Schumer said.

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