Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been hit with a heavy vote of no confidence from conservative groups around the country.
On Wednesday, leaders from several conservative organizations called on McConnell to abdicate his position, citing a list of broken promises he made to Republican voters.
They are calling on not only McConnell, but also members of his leadership team, to step down.
“You and the rest of your leadership team were given the majority because you pledged to stop the steady flow of illegal immigration,” states their letter to McConnell, according to Fox News. “You have done nothing. You pledged to reduce the size of this oppressive federal government. You have done nothing. You pledged to reduce, and ultimately eliminate the out-of-control deficit spending that is bankrupting America. You have done nothing. You promised to repeal Obamacare, ‘root and branch.’ You have done nothing. You promised tax reform. You have done nothing.”
Disgruntled conservatives held a news conference in Washington, D.C. to address their concerns and desire to see the leadership team dissolved.
“We call on all five members of the GOP Senate leadership to step down, or for their caucus to remove them as soon as possible,” Ken Cuccinelli, the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said at the conference.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, founded in 2008 by former Senator Jim DeMint, has worked for years to elect more conservative GOP candidates to the upper chamber in Congress. The group has regularly clashed with the more moderate wing of GOP leadership.
The SCF wasn’t the only group calling for McConnell to vacate his position.
Members from FreedomWorks, For America and the Tea Party Patriots also joined the chorus in demanding GOP Senate leaders step aside after failing to enact conservative legislation, despite voters giving the Republican Party full control of Washington, D.C. on Election Day.
This is not the first time conservatives have called on McConnell to step down as majority leader, but the ferocity of Wednesday’s press conference certainly puts an added weight on Republican lawmakers to get things done this legislative session.
The letter and press conference come as congressional Republicans are currently working to enact tax reform. GOP leaders so far have not succeeded in repealing Obamacare, failing several times to push through their own GOP health care bills. Republicans are hoping tax reform will be an issue the entire party can rally behind.
“If this was a football team, and you’d lost this many times, you’d start seriously considering firing the coaches,” said For America President David Bozell.
Despite all agreeing that they’d wish to see McConnell go, many conservative leaders are not certain who they would like to see as a replacement.
“If I had to pick someone, I’d love to draft like Pat Toomey maybe,” FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said, referring to the GOP Pennsylvania senator. “There’s a lot of different people out there who I think could unite this caucus and actually lead on some issues.”
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, said she could see herself supporting Georgia GOP Senator David Perdue. “I’m from Georgia, so I’m not opposed to him,” Martin explained, touting the junior senator’s extensive business background as a former CEO.
Conservative candidates are taking notice as well. As the 2018 election cycle begins to heat up, many pro-Trump candidates are hoping to gain traction by displaying stronger support for the president.
“With rare exception, GOP senators blocking Trump’s agenda are impediments we can not afford. Double that for Senate leaders,” Ron Wallace, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, said in a statement to Western Journalism.
Wallace is an insurgent candidate hoping to win the GOP primary and take on incumbent Democrat Senator Tim Kaine. Wallace is running on a pro-Trump platform and believes it’s imperative the GOP majority pass what they promised to do.
“The American People voted for Tax Cuts, Border Walls, Rapid Growth, Excellent Law Enforcement, and Better Education. I expect strong proactive policies to make those outcomes possible and deliver cost-effective solutions, by whatever means may be necessary,” he said.
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