Skip to Main Content
Watch Interim Joint Committee Judiciary

Sen. Mitch McConnell: One to One from Washington

Sen. Mitch McConnell: One to One from Washington

Bill speaks with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about the 114th Congress and his relationship with President Obama during the final two years of his presidency.
Season 10 Episode 5 Length 28:01 Premiere: 01/26/15

Sen. Mitch McConnell: One to One from Washington

With historic numbers of Republicans in Congress, the GOP is poised to make sweeping changes to the American political agenda.

That is, if it weren’t for the Democrat in the White House.

But the new Senate majority leader, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, remains hopeful that the Republican-controlled Congress can achieve great things and he says he hopes President Obama will join them in that effort. McConnell discussed his legislative aspirations and his plans for the Senate in a special of edition of One to One with Bill Goodman.

A Divided But Productive Government
Even though different parties control Congress and the White House, McConnell says there still should be points of agreement that can lead to legislation. He says divided governments can be productive, as they were under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

For his part, McConnell hopes he and President Obama can find common ground on trade agreements and infrastructure spending. The Senator says Republicans are prepared to grant Obama trade promotion authority (sometimes called fast-track authority), which would enable Congress to approve a trade agreement negotiated by the president on a simple majority vote without amendment or filibuster. McConnell says such trade agreements would help the American economy.

The Republican acknowledges repairing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure is a thornier issue. He and his party are against raising the gasoline tax, which provides revenues to the Transportation Trust Fund. McConnell says he hopes the White House will consider an option proposed by Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul. That measure would allow corporations to repatriate profits from overseas in return for a lower tax rate on those funds. The proceeds from that would help pay for road and bridge repairs.

Another priority for McConnell is to bring the Keystone XL proposal to a vote as a way to force Obama to make a decision on the oil pipeline project. The majority leader says Keystone has wide bipartisan support, would create 42,000 construction jobs, and would have no adverse environmental impact while advancing the country’s energy security.

“We are perplexed as to why the president continues to delay a decision here,” McConnell says.

Other Points of Conflict
McConnell dismisses Obama’s recent State of the Union address as a campaign speech with more tax-and-spend promises like government-funded community college tuitions. He also criticizes how Obama downplayed the terror threat posed by Islamic militants.

“The war on terror is not over,” McConnell argues. “You cannot simply have the president of the United States stand up and say the war on terror is over and the troops are coming home when the other guys are still fighting us.”

The Republican also says Obama is wrong on sanctions against Iran. McConnell contends the Iranians should be held accountable for delaying progress on talks to prevent the country from developing nuclear arms.

A Student of Senate History
Senate Republicans unanimously elected McConnell as leader after they gained a 54-seat majority in the mid-term elections.  McConnell says the biggest advantage of being majority leader is the ability to set the agenda for the Senate – one that he says Republicans feel is better for the country.

McConnell is also eager to change the work environment in the chamber. As a student of Senate history, McConnell says he’s been influenced by the 1961 transition between Democratic Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, who McConnell says was very controlling, to Mike Mansfield, who was more open and bipartisan.

“The reason I paid some attention to Mansfield,” says McConnell, “is because I felt like the last four years in the Senate, my predecessor, Harry Reid, was running the Senate very much like Lyndon Johnson: centralizing everything in one office, denying people of both parties the opportunity to vote and express themselves.”

McConnell says he wants his leadership style to be like Mansfield’s as he moves to make the Senate more open to freewheeling debate, legislative amendments, and votes.

“I hope it will be written that the Senate was restored to its greatness,” McConnell says of his plans for the body.

Watch an hour-long special about McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, or view a December 2014 interview with McConnell at the Henry Clay Estate in Lexington.

Sponsored by:

You give every Kentuckian the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through KET.

The show hosts and the show logo.The show hosts and the show logo.

TV Schedules


No upcoming airdates


No recent airdates

Season 10 Episodes

Jeff Smith and Jonathan Miller

S10 E53 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 12/27/15

Economic Boom for Kentucky Bourbon

S10 E52 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 12/20/15

Steve Beshear Reflects on Service

S10 E51 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 12/13/15

Dr. R. Albert Mohler

S10 E50 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 11/22/15

Governor-elect Matt Bevin

S10 E49 Length 29:03 Premiere Date 11/15/15

Kentucky Life Host Doug Flynn

S10 E48 Length 28:26 Premiere Date 11/08/15

Al Cross on the 2015 Election

S10 E47 Length 28:32 Premiere Date 11/01/15

Trey Grayson

S10 E46 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 10/11/15

Tony Kemper of the de Paul School

S10 E45 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 10/04/15

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth

S10 E44 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 09/27/15

David Gregory on His Journey of Faith

S10 E43 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/20/15

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie

S10 E42 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 09/13/15

Sen. Mitch McConnell

S10 E41 Length 28:37 Premiere Date 09/05/15

Education Chief Reflects on Service

S10 E39 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 08/23/15

Making the Case for Higher Academic Standards

S10 E38 Length 28:11 Premiere Date 08/15/15

Emily Bingham Discusses Aunt's Biography

S10 E36 Length 28:31 Premiere Date 08/01/15

Personalized Cancer Treatment

S10 E35 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 07/25/15

Stu Silberman and Brigitte Blom Ramsey

S10 E34 Length 28:07 Premiere Date 07/18/15

Coding - Part 2

S10 E33 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 07/11/15

Scott Terrell on the Lexington Philharmonic

S10 E30 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 06/20/15

Jane Chu and Lori Meadows Discuss Kentucky Arts

S10 E29 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 06/13/15

Giving Voice to Kentucky Women

S10 E28 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 06/06/15

The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

S10 E26 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/23/15

Al Cross Discusses May 2015 Primary

S10 E25 Length 28:00 Premiere Date 05/16/15

Immigration Laws in Louisville

S10 E24 Length 28:17 Premiere Date 05/09/15

Cameron Ludwick and Blair Hess

S10 E23 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 05/02/15

Len Peters Discusses the EPA

S10 E22 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 04/25/15

Kim Baker Discusses the Arts

S10 E21 Length 28:56 Premiere Date 04/18/15

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Alison Davis

S10 E20 Length 27:46 Premiere Date 04/11/15

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz

S10 E19 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 04/04/15

Dr. Mark Evers

S10 E18 Length 27:11 Premiere Date 03/28/15

Teddy Abrams

S10 E17 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 03/21/15

Dr. Robert Davies

S10 E16 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 02/22/15

Brad Jones: Black Walls Turn Gray

S10 E15 Length 28:12 Premiere Date 02/15/15

SOAR Executive Director Jared Arnett

S10 E14 Length 28:16 Premiere Date 02/08/15

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto

S10 E13 Length 28:03 Premiere Date 02/01/15

Rep. Andy Barr: One to One from Washington

S10 E12 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 02/04/15

Rep. Thomas Massie: One to One from Washington

S10 E11 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 02/03/15

Rep. John Yarmuth: One to One from Washington

S10 E10 Length 27:41 Premiere Date 02/02/15

Rep. Brett Guthrie: One to One from Washington

S10 E9 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 01/30/15

Rep. Ed Whitfield: One to One from Washington

S10 E8 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/29/15

Rep. Hal Rogers: One to One from Washington

S10 E7 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/28/15

Sen. Rand Paul: One to One from Washington

S10 E6 Length 27:31 Premiere Date 01/27/15

Sen. Mitch McConnell: One to One from Washington

S10 E5 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/26/15

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell

S10 E4 Length 28:06 Premiere Date 01/06/15

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers

S10 E3 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 01/18/15

Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo

S10 E2 Length 28:21 Premiere Date 01/11/15

Gov. Steve Beshear

S10 E1 Length 28:41 Premiere Date 12/26/14

Explore KET