Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the current Senate Minority Leader and in his 4th Senate term.
Mitch McConnell was born on 20 February 1942 in Tuscumbia, Alabama and spent his childhood in Louisville, Kentucky. At 22, he graduated from University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences with honors where he was student body president and member of Phi Kappa Tau. He received his law degree from University of Kentucky College in 1967, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association.
Months prior to finishing law school, McConnell enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. Shortly after his induction into the military, McConnell was diagnosed with optic neuritis. He was released an honorable discharge for medical reasons.
McConnell has been married twice and has three children. His second wide, Elaine Chao, is the current Secretary of Labor.
McConnell interned for Senator John Sherman Cooper and later worked as an assistant to Senator Marlow Cook. He became a Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Gerald R. Ford. He was the Jefferson County Judge from 1978 until 1984, when he entered the Senate.
McConnell successfully ran against a two-term Democratic Senator and won by a margin of less than half a percentage point. He owed his victory in part to Ronald Reagan's landslide in that year's presidential election, and in part to a series of negative campaign ads run by McConnell's campaign insinuating that the Democratic incumbent had a poor attendance record. The 1990 Senate race was similarly challenging as he ran against former Louisville mayor Harvey I. Sloane. Despite a margin of 4.5%, he was reelected that election and twice again thereafter. McConnell was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 elections.
In November 2004, he was elected by Senate Republicans as Majority Whip in 2003 and was unanimously re-elected in 2004. McConnell was elected in 2006 to replace Bill First, then the Senate Majority Leader, as the Republican Leader. As Democrats dominate the Senate, McConnell has assumed the role of the Senate Minority Leader. He serves as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, a ranking member of the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Related Programs, a senior member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Rules and Administration Committees. McConnell has not contributed any landmark legislation to date but is widely considered a "kingmaker" in Kentucky Republican politics.
He has been particularly active in fighting efforts to reform campaign finances. McConnell led the movement against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (also known as the "McCain-Feingold bill"), calling it "neither fair, nor balanced, nor constitutional." He took the issue to the Supreme Court in 2003 in the case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission. He has been suspected to have received money and exchanged it for power within the Republican party.
In 1996, Senator McConnell demanded that President Clinton allow White House aides to testify under oath. However, when asked about Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testifying under oath in relation to the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy, he replied, "And what Im telling you is the presidents going to make that decision."
McConnell is one of the strongest supporters of the American invasion of Iraq, believing that the sustained violence in Iraq is perpetrated primarily by al-Qaeda and other international jihadists, who would otherwise be striking on U.S. soil. McConnell feels that the war is a "success" because it had prevented terrorist attacks in the U.S. since September 11, 2001.
Although he is a staunch conservative, he calls Flag Desecration Amendment a violation of free speech.