Mitch McConnell has warned against admitting Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states because it would create new Senate seats for the Democrats and let them pack the courts.
The Senate Majority Leader has railed against plans to grant D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood before but on Friday he made his concerns about their potential political representation explicit.
“After they change the filibuster, they’re going to admit the District as a state. They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state,” McConnel said, as reported by CNN’s Ryan Struyk.
“That’s four new Democratic senators in perpetuity. Once they get a hammerlock on the Senate, they’re going to then pack the Supreme Court.”
MCCONNELL: "After they change the filibuster, they're going to admit the District as a state. They're going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That's four new Democratic senators in perpetuity. Once they get a hammerlock on the Senate, they're going to then pack the Supreme Court."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) September 18, 2020
“The one thing the Majority Leader gets to do, that the other 99 don’t get to do, is to decide what we’re going to do,” he said.
“We’re not changing the filibuster rule. We’re not admitting the District and Puerto Rico as states. And we’re not packing the courts.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden has offered support for Puerto Rico to join the union as a state and granting the same status for D.C. would be consistent with this approach.
McConnell also warned that control of the Senate was up for grabs in November.
“Control of the Senate is a 50/50 proposition. We’ve got very close races all over the place,” he said.
“We have a lot of incumbents up; 23 of us up, only 12 of them … Races in Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, Maine and Georgia. So it’s a 50/50 proposition.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media