Many of the bills easily passed the House, on many occasions with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Thursday that he is blocking about 400 pieces of legislation that have passed the House of Representatives, and made it clear that he intends to kill every one of them.
Speaking to Fox News, McConnell (R-KY), the self-proclaimed "Grim Reaper," confirmed that he was holding up 395 pieces of legislation, which does not take into account the growing pile of bills that have made it to his desk since the start of the new year.
"It is true. They've been on full left-wing parade over there, trotting out all of their left-wing solutions that are going to be issues in the fall campaign," McConnell replied. "We're not gonna pass those."
He admitted that there were "some things we can agree on" such as "infrastructure" and "parks."
"It may not be a big bill, because that would require dealing with the revenue sources [and] both sides are nervous about raising the gas tax," he said, referring to a potential infrastructure deal.
He added, "It's not that we're not doing anything. It's that we're not doing what the House Democrats and these candidates for president on the Democratic ticket want to do."
When asked about a House-passed bill to lower drug prices, something Republicans have claimed is a priority, McConnell said simply the Senate was "wrestling with that."
Since the start of 2019, McConnell and Senate Republican caucus have done almost no legislating. The vast majority of their 428 roll call votes last year were related to Donald Trump's nominees to the courts or executive branch. Even several members of McConnell's own caucus have criticized their leadership for focusing almost solely on nominations.
Some of the legislation McConnell is obstructing is indeed based on progressive ideas that he opposes, though most received at least some GOP votes in the House. These include bills to provide voter protections, prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, protect Dreamers, guarantee fair pay, mandate gun background checks, fight government corruption, and raise the federal minimum wage.
But many of the stalled measures are fairly non-controversial bills that easily passed the House, with overwhelming bipartisan support. Often, these bills were even authored by House Republicans.
- The Global Hope Act, a bipartisan bill by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) to support global partnerships for the fight against childhood cancer. It passed with super-majority House support last month.
- The Securing America's Ports Act, a bipartisan bill by Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) to ensure that all vehicles entering the United States at land ports of entry are scanned. It passed with super-majority House support this week.
- The Unlocking Opportunities for Small Businesses Act, a bill by Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) to make it easier for small business to compete for federal prime contracts by requiring contract officers to consider relevant past performance and subcontractor experience of companies. It passed with super-majority House support last month.
- H.R. 5037, a bill to rename the Farmville, North Carolina, post office after the late Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC). Jones' successor, Reg. Gregory Murphy (R-NC), authored the bill and every member of the state's House delegation co-sponsored the tribute to the 12-term GOP lawmaker. It passed with super-majority House support last week.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.