Published January 16, 2003
Senator Mitch McConnell, Jr. is the senior Senator from Kentucky and the only Republican in Kentucky history to be elected to three full terms in the United States Senate.
McConnell currently serves as ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal election law and the administration of the Senate, and serves as ranking member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, a key foreign policy committee. He is a senior member of the Agriculture and Appropriations Committees, and a member of the Judiciary Committee.
A longtime opponent of limits on campaign spending, McConnell argues that restricting political spending would go against the First Amendment by limiting free speech. He is a staunch enemy of the McCain-Feingold-Thompson bill, which would set spending limits and abolish soft money.
McConnell supports product and malpractice liability reform and has sponsored a pornography victims act. He strongly supports aid to Israel while expressing concerns about aid for Russia and is a key supporter of Kentucy tobacco growers.
McConnell was chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which directed the planning and production of President George W. Bush's Inauguration as the 43rd President of the United States. As Chairman, McConnell served as emcee of the 2001 Inauguration Ceremony and escorted President Bush throughout the day's festivities. He was also chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where he developed and supported campaigns of Republican Senate candidates.
Before being elected to the United States Senate, McConnell served as county Judge-Executive in Jefferson County, Kentucky from 1978 to 1984. He was chief legislative aide to Senator Marlow Cook in the 1960's, and deputy assistant attorney general under President Gerald R. Ford.
Born in 1942 and raised in South Louisville, McConnell graduated as student body president from the University of Louisville, where he received a B.A. with honors; and received a law degree from the University of Kentucky's College of Law in 1967.
McConnell is married to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.