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McConnell Addresses Rotary

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talked about partisan politics during an address to the Louisville Downtown Rotary Club Thursday.

McConnell had praise for President Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan, but was critical of the administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress on many other issues.

The Senator told Rotarians he does not believe Republican resistance to most Democratic proposals will come back to haunt the GOP.

“One of my friends who came up to me a while ago before the meeting said ‘We’ve got to worry about being labeled as the party of no.’ My reaction to that is, ‘It depends on what you’re saying no to,'” said McConnell.

McConnell also discussed Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh’s retirement. He says the Republican Party has a good shot at winning Bayh’s Senate seat in November.

“Well it’ll be up to Indiana to decide who the nominees are going to be and how the election goes, but I think Evan Bayh was in a very strong position, and with him not running again it greatly enhances our opportunity to win that seat,” he said.

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Yarmuth Says 51 Votes May Pass Healthcare Reform In Senate

Congressman John Yarmuth says Democrats may not need a filibuster-proof 60 vote majority to pass health care overhaul legislation through the Senate.

Yarmuth says the party can invoke reconciliation for the bill, which blocks a filibuster and allows budget-related items to pass with a simple majority.

“The chances are probably 50-50 right now that in order to get a bill through the Senate reconciliation will have to be done, because we don’t have every one of the Democratic votes,” he says.

Yarmuth says he will not vote for any bill in the House that doesn’t include a public healthcare option. The congressman has long said he supports a public option for healthcare, to compete with plans offered by private insurers.

“We have to put some pressure on them because health care decisions can’t be made based on profit incentive. And that’s unfortunately where we are,” he says. “So I think we have to have a public option.”

He’ll hold a town hall meeting on healthcare reform next week.

He made his comments on WFPL’s State of Affairs program Tuesday