Heard on the Hill

Mitch McConnell Plans Final Four Trip

It's a good thing the Senate called off an evening vote on April 8, because the chamber's minority leader expects to have other plans.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a Friday radio interview that he planned to be at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for Monday night's NCAA men's basketball national championship game to root on the team from his beloved alma mater, the University of Louisville Cardinals.
Senate leaders announced a schedule change earlier this week to postpone a vote to confirm a new federal appeals court judge until noon Tuesday, April 9, instead of the evening of the national championship game. That gives many senators an additional day of the two-week Easter and Passover recess. Sources did not give any other explanation for the scheduling change.
While the host from WGTK tried to lead off the interview seeking reaction to early reports about the contents of President Barack Obama's budget, McConnell's message was clear: He first wanted to talk sports.
"First, I just want to indicate how excited I am, as a U of L graduate, with the success of U of L sports this year: getting into the ACC, winning the Sugar Bowl, and now the men and women going to the Final Four," McConnell said. "We hear that Rick Pitino's going to be chosen for the Basketball Hall of Fame, so it's an exciting time to be a Louisvillian and a Kentuckian."
If things go McConnell's way in the national semifinals on Saturday and again in the championship on Monday night, North Carolina Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard M. Burr should be on high alert.
Last year, when the University of Kentucky Wildcats prevailed in the national championship game, McConnell got a resolution through the Senate congratulating the team and declaring that Kentucky "is rightly known as the college basketball capital of the world.”
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