Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brushed off a report that his pet projects are getting special attention from the Department of Transportation due to his close (read: married) relationship to Secretary Elaine Chao.
“You know, I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” he said to a reporter who asked about the veracity of the report. “I hope we can do a lot better next year.”
.@KellyO asks if Sen. McConnell received any special treatment or consideration for transportation grants because he’s married to @SecElaineChao@senatemajldr: “You know, I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five.” pic.twitter.com/lldAnY7lh1
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 11, 2019
That’s the statistic being touted by the Transportation Department as well.
Per Politico’s report, the department’s grants for McConnell’s projects have topped $78 million as the Kentucky senator gears up for reelection in 2020. The projects include an $11.5 million infrastructure improvement to Owensboro, a city long tied to McConnell that features a plaza named after him.
Chao also reportedly assigned an aide, Todd Inman, to specifically work as an intermediary between McConnell’s office and hers, an edge that other states do not have.