Kentucky Republicans change the rules so they could get to pick Mitch McConnell's replacement

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Brendan Morrow
·2 min read
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Republicans in Kentucky overrode a veto of a bill that would let a GOP committee pick the options for a temporary replacement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), should he retire before completing his term.

The Kentucky legislature on Monday overrode Gov. Andy Beshear's (D) veto of Senate Bill 228, which "restricts his ability to fill any vacancies that arise if one of the state's U.S. senators dies or leaves office early," the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

As the report explains, the governor of Kentucky has previously been able to pick anyone from either party to temporarily complete the rest of a senator's term when there's a vacancy. But under Senate Bill 228, the governor is required to pick a replacement of the same political party as the senator departing and also choose from a list of three options provided by the executive committee from that senator's state party. The bill was "designed to ensure the governor can't appoint a Democrat to what's likely to be a safe seat for Republicans," the Louisville Courier Journal explains.

McConnell himself backed the bill, which led to some speculation that he could retire before his new six-year term is completed, though the lead sponsor of SB 228 said McConnell isn't planning his retirement, according to the report. Beshear has criticized the bill, saying it "delegates the power to select a representative to an unelected, unaccountable political committee that only represents a fraction of Kentuckians, when a senator is supposed to represent all of us." Read more at the Louisville Courier Journal.

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