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CEDAR RAPIDS - Sen. Chuck Grassley isn't putting much stock in rumors that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces the same fate as House Speaker John Boehner.
In the face of criticism and a lack of cooperation from the more conservative members of his majority GOP caucus, Boehner announced his resignation as the leader of the U.S. House last Friday.
That led to speculation that Senate conservatives might force out McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who has come under criticism recently for rejecting suggestions Republicans shutdown the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood has been embroiled in controversy since the release of videos in July that allegedly show its officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood said the videos made by abortion opponents were edited to mislead.
Any attempt to 'reallocate” Planned Parenthood funds to other women's health care providers would fail because there aren't 60 votes to bring the issues to the Senate or the 67 votes needed to override the president's if it was approved, Grassley said.
Besides, he said during his weekly conference call with reporters, shutting down and reopening the federal government is costly.
'We shouldn't do anything silly to add to the bad fiscal situation the federal government is in,” Grassley said.
Still, some senators and some factions of the GOP are disenchanted with McConnell. Among those calling for McConnell to resign is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Some observers said that was Jindal's attempt to gain national publicity for his campaign which is stuck in single digits in the crowded Republican field.
Whatever McConnell's detractors motivation is, Grassley doubts he will be forced out.
'The next time he will have to deal with that will be November 2016” when the Senate reorganizes after the election, Grassley said. 'I don't think he will have to deal with that between now and then and I don't think there will be any effort to deal with it between now and then.”
Despite Boehner's decision to step down, Grassley said 'there is kind of a rule that you don't change horses in the middle of the stream.”
'If you do change horses in the middle of the stream and you're a cowboy and you've got cowboy boots on, your boots get flooded and you drown,” he added.
A stronger indication that a coup attempt is unlikely, Grassley said is that since Boehner announced his decision Sept. 25 he hasn't heard any of his 53 Republican Senate colleagues talking about replacing McConnell.
'Not one single senator has talked to me about that,” Grassley said.