This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scoffed at the idea of bringing up the House’s blockbuster anti-corruption and election reform bill for a vote, dismissing it as a “doorstop” and bragging that it would “never become law.”
The Democrats’ first big legislative proposal, H.R. 1, would establish automatic voter registration and would make election day a national holiday for federal workers, expand early voting programs, restore voting rights to felons, incentivize candidates to rely on small donations rather than big PAC cheques, and banning vote gerrymandering and voter roll purges.
On top of that, it contains a slew of new rules aimed squarely at politicians like Trump, mandating the return of tax returns to assume the presidency and putting strict new rules governing conflicts of interest.
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So of course, Mitch McConnell and his Republican buddies have no intention of allowing this bill anywhere near the floor of the Senate. What they’re going to do instead is hold a meaningless show vote on Sen. Markey’s (D-MASS) “Green New Deal” bill in order to try to provoke division within the Democratic caucus, pitting forward-thinking progressives against climate-delaying centrists.
When asked why he wouldn’t bring H.R. 1 for a vote or even consider the democracy-strengthening provisions within it, McConnell didn’t even bother to give the Democrats the respect of a flowery and ultimately meaningless spiel about concerns about the policies.
Instead, he went full Trump and bragged that it was “Because I get to decide what we vote on.” For him to respond in such a way to what should be an uncontroversial proposal to heal our republic is beyond appalling.
The norms and rules that once governed the Senate are dead in the dirt, bludgeoned to death by cryptkeeper McConnell. Naked partisanship is the name of the game these days, which is why when we retake the Senate in 2020 and we get to decide what we vote on, Democrats need to punish these partisan obstructors and scorch the earth.
Grant statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico. End the filibuster. Pack the Supreme Court. Pass a law that specifically mandates Mitch McConnell’s vastly inflated taxes be used to pay for the healthcare of poor Americans. Make him rue the day that he ever decided to deny Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing.