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Still No Bourbon Summit Between Obama, McConnell (Video)

McConnell sits behind the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise at the Willard Hotel Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
McConnell sits behind the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise at the Willard Hotel Feb. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The 51st anniversary of the Congressional Bourbon Resolution came and went with no so-called Bourbon Summit between Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama.  

Rumors of the two sitting down over a snifter of the aged, brown liquor have been brewing for a while, ever since Obama wet the world’s whistle with the idea six months ago  after Republicans won big on Election Day.  

But according to McConnell spokesman Don Stewart, the two have only had dry, daytime meetings with no summit to speak of.  

(We’ll also note that Obama joked about getting suggestions he drink with McConnell during the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell!”)  

While Washington tips its 40 oz. to the summit it salivates for, McConnell and fellow Republican Kentuckian, Rand Paul, announced legislation on Monday to add a tax break for bourbon distillers.  

As CQ Roll Call reported last year , bourbon, by law, must age for at least two years, even though distillers are often inclined to go beyond that. But the tax code won’t allow costs to be deducted until the product is sold, which can last up to 23 years.  

“Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s Bourbon supply,” McConnell said. “Over 15,000 jobs in Kentucky are attributed to the Bourbon industry and it brings in billions of dollars to our state’s economy. This legislation will not only put Kentucky’s Bourbon industry on a level playing field with its competitors, but it is a pro-growth measure that will also help provide a boost to our economy and help create jobs in Kentucky.”  

The McConnell-Paul bill came in celebration of a 1964 Congressional resolution defining bourbon whiskey as a “distinctive product” of the United States, establishing that only bourbon made in the United States could be considered bourbon whiskey.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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