Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went after Democrats again Thursday morning for trying to get voting rights legislation passed by tying the bills to the anniversary of the deadly U.S. Capitol attack.
The Kentucky Republican called January 6 a ‘dark day for Congress and our country.’
‘The United States Capitol, the seat of the first branch of our federal government, was stormed by criminals who brutalized police officers and used force to try to stop Congress from doing its job,’ he said. ‘This disgraceful scene was antithetical to the rule of law,’ he added, thanking the U.S. Capitol Police.
He then blasted Democrats who have used the anniversary as a rallying cry to change the filibuster rules to get two House-passed voting bills across the line.
‘As I said yesterday, it has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event,’ McConnell said. ‘It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves.’
‘A year ago today, the Senate did not bend or break. We stuck together, stood strong, gaveled back in, and did our job,’ McConnell added. ‘Senators should not be trying to exploit this anniversary to damage the Senate in a different way from within.’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was ‘beyond distasteful’ for Democrats to use the anniversary of the deadly January 6 Capitol attack to get voting rights bills passed
In a Wednesday floor speech, he made the same point.
‘It is surreal to hear sitting senators invoke January the 6th to justify breaking the rules to grab outcomes they have not earned,’ McConnell said, repeating the phrase twice to make a point Wednesday on the Senate floor. ‘It is surreal to hear sitting senators invoke January the 6th to argue that institutions can be trampled because they’d like a different result.’
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has advocated changing the upper chamber’s filibuster rules to get voting rights bills passed.
Schumer’s argued that GOP-led state restrictions on voting could lead to more uncertainty in future elections – and another January 6th-like attack.
‘Without addressing the root causes of the events of January 6, the insurrection will not be an aberration, it could well become the norm,’ Schumer warned.
McConnell has characterized Democrats’ fears about GOP-endorsed state-level voting restrictions to be overblown.
‘The fact that violent criminals broke the law does not entitle Senate Democrats to break the Senate,’ he argued on the floor Wednesday.
McConnell made similar remarks Tuesday as well.
‘It appears as if the majority leader is hellbend to try to break the Senate,’ McConnell said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday. ‘His argument is that somehow state legislatures across the country are busily at work trying to make it more difficult for people to vote.’
McConnell said that simply wasn’t true. ‘Of course that’s not happening anywhere in America,’ the Kentucky Republican said.
On the Senate floor Tuesday McConnell also offered, ‘Most Washington Democrats want to appoint themselves a nationwide Board of Elections on steroids.’
He also said that the Democrats had their own ‘big lie’ – which was that ‘democracy is dying because Democrats sometimes lose elections.’
‘It appears as if the majority leader is hellbend to try to break the Senate,’ McConnell said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday
‘Our democracy is not in crisis. Repeating this rhetoric doesn’t make it factual. The 2020 election saw the highest turnout in more than 100 years,’ McConnell argued.
After Democrats won back the White House in 2020 with the election of now President Joe Biden, Republican-run states like Georgia and Arizona have pushed back and made things like mail-in voting more difficult.
Mail-in ballots were widely used in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats have also voiced concerns about Republicans pushing voter ID provisions – which often impact young people and voters of color who tilt more Democratic – and GOP legislatures politicizing state election boards.
House Democrats have passed two voting bills, but they’ve been stuck in the Senate as 60 votes are needed to overrule a GOP-led filibuster.
The Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris utilized as the tie-breaking vote.
Schumer has pitched changing the rules so there’s a carve-out for the voting rights bills, though he’s getting resistance from moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
He needs every Democratic senator to support the move.
Speaking from the Capitol Tuesday night, Manchin said the ‘filibuster needs to stay in place any way, shape or form that we can do it,’ according to Punchbowl News.
Manchin was meeting with Schumer.
Manchin, however, remained open to some rules changes and while he supported a bipartisan vote to change the rules, he didn’t close the door on joining just Democrats in the maneuver.
Source: Daily Mail