Decision Maker

Mitch McConnell

  • KY
  • Senator

Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Minority Leader of the Senate since January 3, 2007.


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Victory
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Pass the ABLE Act

My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.  The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.

Sara Wolff
269,428 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump

Tell Trump, Ryan and O’Connell, No Obamacare Repeal without a Plan

We are petitioning our new leaders to do right by the American people by not rushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act until they show the American people a socially responsible and fiscally feasible plan for affordable, accessible health care. We heard throughout the presidential campaign that the GOP can do better than Obamacare. We also heard President-elect Trump clearly state, in a tweet: “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.”  In his opening remarks to the new Congress on Jan 3rd, Speaker Paul Ryan declared: “And so I want to say to the American people, ‘We hear you. We will do right by you. And we will deliver.’" With respect to healthcare “to deliver” means improved access (in addition to the 20 million people added with Obamacare), improved health benefits, affordable health benefits and lower overall costs. To Repeal Obamacare through a backdoor budget reconciliation bill without including the plan for improvement is NOT “doing right by the American people”, it is nothing more than the old politics we have seen... “politics in the swamp.” The American people voted for real actions that will affect their lives positively. The GOP has to “get out of the swamp” and send their promised plan for improved affordable, accessible health care, including the transition plan from Obamacare, to the House floor to be voted on.  Repeal without a plan is NOT a solution.

Susan Jaworski
80,625 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan

Tell Congress: Stop Denying Climate Change

Right now, more than 6 in 10 Americans are represented by someone in Congress who denies the reality of climate change. And far too often, these members of Congress – led by extreme climate change deniers like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell -- actively block legislation that helps our country combat climate change and create a healthier, safer future for our nation. We deserve elected officials who respect science and will take action to fight back against the most pressing issue of our time. Add your name to our petition to Republican leaders in Congress demanding that they acknowledge that climate change is real and human activity is a significant cause, and ACT.

League of Conservation Voters
107,812 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate, Donald Trump, Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell

Stop Rex Tillerson from becoming Secretary of State

The people have spoken and President-Elect Donald Trump will be President Trump on January 20th, 2017. Whether you are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or affilitates of other political parties, you and I need to put the pressure on Donald Trump to withdraw his consideration of Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State.  Rex Tillerson, of course, is a accomplished executive and would be qualified to be Secretary of State has it not been for the following reasons: 1. Rex Tillerson is the CEO of ExxonMobil, the world's largest Oil Company an abuser of human rights and big contributor to climate change in the world. 2. Rex Tillerson is a Friend to Vladimir Putin and Defender of Russia who we know has tried to influence in one way or another the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  3. His involvement with Russia, Turkey, Syria and Middle East's big oil companies will create serious conflict of interests worse than alleged Secretary Clinton controversies. 4. With no Government Experience Rex Tillerson will take over the State Department and will try to run it as ExxonMobil but the State Department is not a business.  As much we value his private sector work, Rex Tillerson is uniquely unqualified to be the Top Diplomat of the United States of America and should be prevented from being nominated and if nominated should have the most extensive confirmation hearing following by a NO vote in the Senate.

Jean E Joseph
55,566 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan

Tell Congress: Stop Denying Climate Change

Right now, more than 6 in 10 Americans are represented by someone in Congress who denies the reality of climate change. And far too often, these members of Congress – led by extreme climate change deniers like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell -- actively block legislation that helps our country combat climate change and create a healthier, safer future for our nation. We deserve elected officials who respect science and will take action to fight back against the most pressing issue of our time. Add your name to our petition to Republican leaders in Congress demanding that they acknowledge that climate change is real and human activity is a significant cause, and ACT.

League of Conservation Voters
107,812 supporters
Petitioning republicans in the senate, Mitch McConnell, Barack Obama

Give Supreme Court Nominee a Vote

When Republicans were asked who President Obama should nominate as good centrist choice, many said Judge Merrick Garland. Yet, the moment he was nominated, those same Republicans suddenly refused to even meet with him. It’s the type of behavior that voters are tired of seeing in Washington. Months after Justice Scalia’s tragic death, his place on the Supreme Court is still vacant. Republicans are vowing to keep it empty going into the new Supreme Court term in October. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that the Senate shouldn’t confirm a nominee in an election year. This is not how our system of checks and balances is supposed to work. Since 1900, the Senate has voted on eight nominees in an election year. If they don’t think Judge Garland should be seated on the court, whether because he is unqualified or it’s an election year, they have every right to do so with a “no” vote on the Senate floor. It’s time they allow that vote to happen for Judge Merrick Garland. As more time passes, more Senators and leaders in the conservative movement are calling for a vote on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. There is a bipartisan consensus that a vote is overdue. Tell the Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to stop playing Washington games with the Supreme Court. The time for a vote is now.

Troy Riemer
14,481 supporters
Petitioning United States Congress, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell

Stop Obama's Transgender Bathroom / Locker room Policy For Public Schools

The Obama administration sent a letter on May 13 to every public school district in the country telling them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate. The letter is signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. The letter warns that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid. "There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. Please act now! Congress needs to intervene immediately to STOP and REVERSE President Obama's directive to force public schools to open male and female bathrooms to the opposite sex. Sign this petition to keep public school bathrooms safe!  What can Congress do? Congress has at least three different ways of reasserting its authority. 1) Congress could make clear that all federal laws that refer to a person’s “sex” cannot be understood or interpreted by any court or federal agency to mean “gender identity” without explicit Congressional authorization. This would have the benefit of undoing the administration’s past and current abuses, as well as preventing future ones. 2) Congress could pass a statute offering the same clarification but targeted to just the specific federal laws the administration has abused, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, among others. This would reiterate that when Congress referred to a person’s “sex” in these laws, the word referred then to what it continues to refer to now—a biological reality, not “gender identity.” 3) Congress could pass statutes based on its power of the purse. It could specify that the Departments of Education, Justice, and HHS (Health and Human Services), as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may not use any funds to implement or enforce its new administrative transgender directives or regulations against persons, institutions, schools, businesses, and governments that allegedly do not comply. Additionally, Congress could specify that these agencies may not revoke federal funding for any purported non-compliance with the administration’s gender identity directives.    

Christian Action Network
11,692 supporters
Petitioning Paul Ryan, Charles Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi

Help Working Moms Who Breast Pump! - Keep Provision 207 in Affordable Care Act

There has been lots of political discussion around ending of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) for some time. Now that Republicans have taken control of Congress and the Senate it may soon be a reality.  The ACA carries many additional provisions like the Section 4207: Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers. Major changes to or the repeal of the ACA will take these necessary rights away from nursing mothers and employers will no longer be obligated to enforce this law. Babies will also not benefit from the essential breast milk needed in the first year of life if mother's are not allowed to take breaks to breast pump. "President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.)  Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.  If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. The federal requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.Never before has Federal legislature cited the importance of breaks for moms to breast pump."  (Also outlined on the main page of MomsPumpHere.com) This will pose a problem for nursing mother's who have to go back to work soon after the baby is born. On average, women breastfeed for 6 months in the United States. Experts recommend babies to be breastfed for up to a year because of the nutritional value found in breast milk. Provisions like the one outlined in the ACA allow women to continue to provide their babies with breast milk well past the 6 month mark when employers create private spaces for breast pumping. Sign this petition and tell our incoming administration NOT to end the ACA but to make changes where necessary! KEEP NURSING MOM RIGHTS!  

Priya Nembhard
8,343 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Mitch McConnell, Jerry Rhoads, R.J. Palmer, Tommy Thompson, David Floyd, Robert Benvenuti, Toby Herald, C.B. Embry, Mike Harmon, Tim Couch, Rick Rand, Brad Montell, Susan Westrom, Keith Hall, Tanya...

Legalize same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Michael and I met on March 21st, 2004. We had our 'Holy Union' at the MCC of Paducah on October 9th, 2005. We both come from very loving and supportive families. My husband, Michael, has been the plant manager of a local company, here in Murray, KY, for fourteen years, now. He is currently finishing his M.B.A., so that he can teach at the local university. I, Stephen, have a degree in nursing and a bachelor degree in business management. I currently own my own business, and I have plans to further my education in the nursing field. Michael and I are a very happy family. We have many friends that are both straight and gay, that are supportive of our relationship. We are blessed to have found one another and we truly believe that our legal marriage in Iowa should be recognized in the state we currently live in. Love is between two people, not based on gender. We are going to continue to fight for our rights, in an effort to further the rights of future generations. Legalizing gender-neutral marriage, in Kentucky, will allow same sex married couples to be recognized, to the full extent of the law. This action will bring the opportunity of the GLBTQ community to enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples have. By lifting the ban on same sex marriage, we are instilling values, and revealing morals, which create equality for all.    It is imperative to secure the rights of each individual, including the right to marry whomever we choose, and giving legal voice to same sex spouses. Under current law, these spouses are not recognized, in a number of ways. Health care benefits, retirement, state tax filing, adoptions, health care decisions, and many more infringements, are imposed under the current law. It is time we take a stand on individual rights, regardless of individual circumstance, and overturn the ban on same sex marriage, in the state of Kentucky.  Eighteen states have now taken the steps to ensure that the GLBTQ community has the same rights, which are well overdue. It is time that Kentucky recognizes what is legally and morally right, in this fight for equality. It is time for Church and State to be separated from all issues.

Reverend Stephen Thompson
6,199 supporters
Petitioning Hillary Clinton

Make addiction treatment a priority in healthcare

My sister, Sharon, and I both struggled with drug addiction for many years.  Sharon never received treatment, and it cost her her life. Her death was a preventable tragedy that has caused our family immeasurable suffering. I was one of the lucky few who received treatment. I decided to take the intense single-minded focus and creativity I was devoting to staying high, and use it to get sober, and help other families struggling with addiction. Today, I’ve been sober for over 25 years, and I run a treatment center that helps others beat addiction and start their lives anew. For far too long, substance abuse disorder wasn’t treated as a disease, but rather as a moral failing within the addict. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits. But even with MHPAEA’s substance abuse mandate, insurance companies often refuse to cover treatment. Loopholes and lack of clarity in the wording of the law have made it difficult for those who want help -- and their families -- to know exactly what they are entitled to. These misunderstandings allow insurance companies to deny or provide substandard addiction treatment and pay less than adequate reimbursement for services. It is even commonplace for insurance company doctors, without any direct contact with the patient, to override the clinical staff who are treating the patient and deny coverage of treatment, which often results in the injury and death of the patient. Congress needs to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so that insurance companies are held accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment or refuse to pay treatment providers for services covered in the policies they have sold their customers. Addiction is a terminal but treatable disease affecting 64 million Americans.  The National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) reports that up to 20 percent of the US population has a substance abuse problem. Opiate and heroin addiction has hit epidemic levels.  Drug overdoses kill more Americans than automobile accidents or guns. According to estimates from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 11 percent of Americans needing substance abuse treatment receive it. Despite the fact that drug addiction is now recognized by the American Medical Association as a progressive, terminal disease if left untreated, many insurers continue to treat SAB as if it was elective and not medically necessary. Let’s make sure insurance companies put people ahead of profits. Please join me in asking Congress to clarify the MHPAEA substance disorder mandate, so we can hold insurance companies accountable when they try to deny coverage for treatment.  Please sign our petition.  What we do today could help save a life tomorrow.

Brian McAlister
5,729 supporters