Senate Republican leaders are focused on passing legislation that appeals to independent and swing voters in the final weeks before the midterm elections — instead of throwing red meat to the base of the Republican Party.
It’s a unique strategy from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has publicly acknowledged that Democrats could win back control of the upper chamber this fall. McConnell’s game plan contrasts with the election-year rhetoric and tweets of President Trump, who has highlighted divisive issues such as immigration.
The Senate will return to work on Wednesday to take up an array of bills with bipartisan support — such as the Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services spending bill, opioids legislation and the Water Resources Development Act. Also on the agenda is the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization and the conference report for the farm bill, as well as conference reports for the seven appropriations bills the Senate passed before taking an abbreviated August recess.
It’s not an agenda designed to stoke political fights and rev up the base, a favorite tactic of past congressional leaders — especially before a midterm election. Instead, it’s meant to show voters, especially swing and independent voters, that Senate Republicans are a steady hand on the levers of government.
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