HEBRON — Don’t expect immigration reform or much of anything else to get done this year in Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mc-Connell told the Enquirer on Friday.
“There’s a lot of big important things that need to be dealt with that aren’t going to happen this year,” McConnell told the Enquirer in an hour-long interview at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
McConnell flew into Northern Kentucky on Friday to attend a forum on heroin and later meet with supporters at the Oriental Wok in Fort Mitchell.
He said immigration reform won’t get done this year, and he blamed the president for holding up reforms on immigration, entitlement programs, tax reform and trade.
“These things do not get hatched in Congress and forced on a reluctant president ,” McConnell told Enquirer reporters and editors. “Never happens; 435 people in the House and a hundred people in the Senate do not collectively end up tackling tough stuff and forcing it on the president.”
McConnell also said he’s not convinced of climate change.
While lamenting that the Environmental Protection Agency has threatened the coal industry, McConnell said Friday he doesn’t believe in man-made climate change.
He said that in the 1970s, people feared an ice age was imminent.
“For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t,” McConnell said.
Most climate scientists agree on climate change. The National Climactic Data Cen- ter reported that the global surface temperature has risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900 and that the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 1981, with the 10 warmest in the past 12 years.
Climate change arguments, however, should not come into play when talking about regulations on the coal industry, McConnell said. Any standards imposed on the coal industry by the United States will be negated by China and other countries, he said.
“You’re not going to have global cooperation to do it,” McConnell said. “Even if you conceded the point, which I don’t concede, but if you conceded the point, it isn’t going to be addressed by one country. So the idea is, we tie our own hands behind our back and others don’t. I think it’s beyond foolish, and real people are being hurt by this.”