Alison Lundergan Grimes

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his top aides are warning the detonation of the so-called "nuclear option" will backfire on Senate Democrats after the results of next year's election.

The vote gives the 2014 mid-term elections even higher stakes and puts more attention on Kentucky's Senate race, which could pit McConnell up against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes next fall.

After months of debating the use of the 60-vote cloture maneuver to block President Obama's judicial nominees and other measures, Democratic Leader Harry Reid moved forward with changing the Senate rules.

By a 52-48 vote, it now takes just a simple majority vote to end debate and move ahead with presidential nominations other than Supreme Court justices.

"If you want to play games and set yet another precedent that you'll no doubt come to regret. I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle you'll regret this," said McConnell. "And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think."

Others in McConnell's camp, such as former chief of staff Josh Holmes, who is working on the senator's re-election bid, also derided the nuclear option. But he put the vote in even starker terms if the GOP captures the majority next fall.

ky.gov

The National Republican Senatorial Committee says disciplinary action has been taken against a junior staffer who tweeted an "extremely offensive" photo-shopped image of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The image shows Grimes' face superimposed on the body of "Obama Girl," a model who made racy videos about her crush on then-Senator Barack Obama in 2007. 

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell reiterated his call to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and predicted Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes will run away from the law.

The GOP leader made the remarks at a press conference at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, where McConnell made it clear that he wants Kentucky's 2014 Senate race to focus on the president's health care law.

For the past six weeks the Obamacare rollout has been plagued by a malfunctioning enrollment website and reports of canceled insurance plans.

Reports have found about 280,000 Kentuckians will lose their current coverage due to the law.

State officials say those people won't be dropped altogether, but rather will receive offers for alternative plans where their insurance costs could go down or increase depending on the individual case.

Its those sort of troubles that have put Democrats from more conservative states on their heels as GOP lawmakers are becoming re-energized thanks to its rocky implementation.

McConnell predicted Grimes will follow the line of Democratic incumbents in red states such as Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and run away from the president's law.

"The panic has set in and the troops are restless," he says. "And on a daily basis you will see some Democrat in some red state distance themselves from Obamacare. So I would say that my opponent is keep(ing) an eye on Mary Landrieu. And whatever Mary Landrieu does, you can expect my opponent to likely do either that day or the next day."

The senator also outlined what he called a more "scalpel" approach compared to the president's "meat ax," favoring reforms that would allow for more competition across state borders.

Asked about the over 7,000 individuals who have already signed up for new health care plans through the state's exchange program, McConnell said plainly lawmakers need to start over.

Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are vying for top gun in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

The McConnell campaign launched its "Sportsmen for Team Mitch" coalition on Friday to coincide with deer hunting season and to flaunt his support of the Second Amendment.

Praised by hunting groups and gun rights advocates,  McConnell was also presented with a "Defender of Freedom" award by the National Rifle Association at the event.

Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has picked up an endorsement from organized labor on the same day the Kentucky senator she wants to unseat is pushing a national right-to-work proposal opposed by unions.

The proposal being co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would prohibit requiring workers to pay union dues or fees. 

ky.gov

Democrat Alison Grimes has joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in urging the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep a coal-fired generating plant operating in western Kentucky.

The campaign to elect Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday it raised over $2.5 million in the third quarter, topping Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's fundraising totals for the same period.

Over the past three months Grimes received support from all 120 Kentucky counties and all 50 states with around 13,300 contributors, which is more than twice the number of McConnell's donors.

Calling the looming government shutdown a "reckless Republican" strategy, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is accusing incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of watching from the sidelines.

The budget impasse in Washington is expected to continue when the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects a House measure this afternoon.

If a deal isn't reached the federal government will close on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.

At issue is implementation of President Obama's health care law, which Republican want to delay for one year. But that is considered a non-starter in the Senate and for the Obama administration.

In the meantime, the Grimes campaign is going on the offensive against McConnell by highlighting how a shutdown would impact Kentucky.

The news release points out a shutdown would close centers for 16,000 children who attend Head Start, delay payments for U.S. military service members and furlough 25,000 federal employees in the state.

Grimes says McConnell needs to be more involved in the negotiations while reminding supporters about the GOP leadership's split with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

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Democratic long-shot Ed Marksberry has decided to drop his bid for his party’s nomination and run as an independent for US Senate next year.

The Owensboro contractor said today he believes Kentucky needs an independent candidate who is not beholden to party leaders. Marksberry said his candidacy has been less about winning and more about influencing the political conversation, something he feels he can better achieve as an independent.  

Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Democratic US Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is attacking the Obama administration for an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that she said will cost coal mining jobs in Kentucky.

Grimes, who’s seeking to replace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, said she was deeply disappointed by the EPA’s decision to impose stricter limits on carbon pollution from new coal-fired power plants. 

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