McConnell’s maneuvers take backseat to Trump in shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell likes to say: “There’s no education in the second kick of a mule.”

Now, deep into a government shutdown he cautioned President Donald Trump against, McConnell is not about to let himself be kicked again. He’s waiting on Trump to decide the way out of the stalemate.

It’s an unusually inactive profile for the GOP leader. The Kentucky Republican is often the behind-the-scenes architect of maneuvers to resolve partisan battles.

Democrats complain publicly — and some Republicans grumble privately — that the Senate should act.

But McConnell is up for re-election in 2020 and Trump tends to be more popular than he is in Kentucky. The leader sees the best option as letting the president decide the next steps.