State Republicans Put Dem Governor in Checkmate, Pass Bill with Veto-Proof Majorities

State Republicans Put Dem Governor in Checkmate, Pass Bill with Veto-Proof Majorities

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has participated in a long, tenured career in the Senate, witnessing countless changes, not just to Congress, but the United States as a whole.

Unfortunately for the longtime Republican politician, the clock never stops ticking. His clock continues to get closer to running out, prompting him to take his leave from leadership in the upper chamber of Congress.

But what’s next for the Kentucky Senate seat that has been filled since 1984?

Well, whatever it is, it’s not going to be up to Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

The state legislature in the Bluegrass State has gone out of its way to ensure that the successor for McConnell’s seat won’t be chosen by Beshear.

As Politico reported, the legislative branch of Kentucky passed a veto-proof Republican-sponsored bill Thursday that would prompt a special election to choose a senator if an open seat comes about in an unexpired term.

While Republicans spearheaded the bill, it found immense bipartisan support within both chambers.

Under the current system in the southern state, successors for vacant Senate seats are picked by gubernatorial appointment — a practice relatively common in other states.

The governor would pick a nominee out of three options submitted by the previous senator’s party.

However, Politico reported, “Beshear has not hidden his disdain for the current arrangement. When the appointment rule was passed in 2021, he said it ‘improperly and unconstitutionally restricts the governor’s power.’

Even more concerning, the report added, “He has also not explicitly committed to following it; when asked over the summer whether he would abide by the law should there be a vacancy, he refused to ‘speculate about something that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen.’”

While McConnell has indicated that he intends to serve out the rest of his term — which ends in 2027 — there’s still concern that complications could happen between now and then.

Back in July 2023, the longtime senator froze mid-sentence during a news conference, drawing concern over his age and health.

Another similar incident occurred the next month, with McConnell once again freezing while talking to a gaggle of reporters.

The 82-year-old politician — who was 81 at the time of the two incidents — was ultimately cleared to work by a physician.

Nonetheless, it’s ultimately impossible to know when somebody is going to become ineligible to serve.

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein was in fragile health for years before she passed away in September of 2023, leaving her seat vacant. That created issues for the Democrats, particularly due to her absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to ensuring that all possible events are accounted for — even the most grim ones.

The bill is ultimately a victory, not just for Republicans — who now can have a free choice in picking a potential McConnell successor — but for Kentucky as a whole.

It’s safe to say there was a good reason the bill passed with a veto-proof majority.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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