Do-nothing Mitch? McConnel takes flak for keeping Senate in recess after House passes coronavirus aid bill
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel is taking heavy fire for keeping the chamber in long recess even after House approval of a bipartisan bill on emergency relief to coronavirus epidemics.
McConnel took a hands-off approach to this week's work on federal response to the disease, allowing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate what a bipartisan approach to the emergency would look like. He agreed to cancel Senate recess next week, but gave senators a long weekend.
I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening. This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers. I have directed....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2020
The coronavirus relief bill has been passed on Friday evening in a 363-40-1 vote (independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan voted "present") and has received the stamp of approval on President Donald Trump's Twitter account. And some people say McConnel's refusal to at least reconvene the Senate early is nothing short of treason and murder by inaction. "What Moscow Mitch is doing is criminal and deranged. He's a national disgrace," one commenter said.
when this is over, we'll need a tally of deaths that could've been prevented if Trump hadn't stalled, called it a hoax, told agencies to treat meetings as classified and hired incompetents for their loyalty—and if McConnell had worked long hours through the weekend to pass a bill— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 14, 2020
Less over-the-top criticism came from Democrat officials. House minority leader branded McConnel's attitude "remarkably irresponsible and out of touch." Senator Kamala Harris said he should cancel the weekend and immediately vote on the bill.
The House is set to take up emergency legislation to address the coronavirus, including to provide paid sick leave and make testing free for all.Mitch McConnell must cancel the weekend so the Senate can immediately vote on this bill. The American people need us to act.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 13, 2020
While it is highly doubtful that McConnel's decision was made on an order from the Kremlin, the outrage, even if highly partisan in nature, is easy to understand. Washington's example of dealing with the coronavirus has not been stellar, to say the least. When poor people cannot afford even getting tested for the disease, less so staying self-isolated at home, delay even by a day may have a profound impact on the number of people affected by the virus.Also on rt.com The Democrats are weaponizing Covid-19 against Trump to do what Russiagate & impeachment could not
Anger directed at McConnel was further fueled by how he spent his free Friday. He attended an event in Louisville with Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, one of the judicial appointees of President Trump that McConnel helped push through nomination hearings. He used the occasion to make a few shots at Schumer and Democrats in general for subjecting "brave public servants" to "the media circus and subjected to partisan attacks."
The House’s Coronavirus Bill will pass tonight. Trump is ready to sign it.But Mitch McConnell is taking a 3-day weekend to party with Brett Kavanaugh, so the Senate wont be able to pass the bill until Monday.A total dereliction of duty. Meanwhile more Americans get sick.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 14, 2020
The Senate leader seems to be impervious to the criticisms. Responding to the passage of the coronavirus relief bill, he said senators "will need to carefully review" it before convening next week, where he believed they would "act swiftly to secure relief for American workers, families, and small businesses." McConnel and his critics probably have different definitions of swiftness.
Where it will sit on McConnell’s desk until Monday because the “Do Nothing Dems” stayed at work instead of going home for the weekend. https://t.co/AyqaPO6sfR— shauna (@goldengateblond) March 14, 2020
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