In an interview with The New York Times, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has outlined his goals for the Senate heading into the new year.
The "real problem" for McConnell, the Times notes, is not "corralling mavericks" like Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — McConnell's struggle will be to push Senate Republicans who are "conditioned to voting no" that "it is time to vote yes." McConnell told the Times that while senators like Cruz "want to make a point," he wants to encourage Republican senators to instead "make a difference."
"The Senate basically didn't do squat for years," McConnell told the Times. "I don't think most members of the Senate wanted it run that way."
McConnell added that Democrats saw the Senate "more as a political platform than a legislative one," the Times notes. Now, McConnell wants to convince the Senate that passing appropriations bills will be "a good thing, not a bad thing." He has also announced that Senate Republicans' first bill will be about the Keystone XL pipeline, which was one vote short of being passed last month.
McConnell will take control of the Senate on Jan. 6. Read the full interview over at The New York Times.