Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) maintained Wednesday that the upper chamber wouldn’t take up a House election reform bill.
McConnell reiterated his position when pressed about why he has only pledged to bring the progressive Green New Deal to the floor for a vote and not the election reform bill.
“Because I get to decide what we vote on,” McConnell quipped.
The Kentucky senator said earlier this week that House Democrats’ sweeping anticorruption bill, known as H.R. 1, would never become law.
“This sprawling 622-page doorstop is never going to become law. I certainly don’t plan to even bring it to the floor here in the Senate,” McConnell said of the legislation Monday.
The legislation aims to expand voting rights by creating automatic voter registration and making Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.
McConnell, who as Senate GOP leader controls the chamber’s floor schedule, acknowledged that “there’s always improvements and reforms to be made, but this certainly isn’t.”
Meanwhile, McConnell has vowed to force a vote on the Green New Deal resolution before the August recess.
The resolution, which was introduced last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), calls for the federal government to make bold reforms as part of an effort to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
McConnell argued last month that Democrats were trying to avoid going on record about the liberal policy aimed at combating climate change.
“The only thing I would ask is if this is such a popular thing to do and so necessary, why would one to dodge the vote. This is an opportunity to go on record. … It’s a debate we’ll have in all likelihood sometime before the August break,” McConnell said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has criticizedMcConnell’s motives, arguing that his plan to force a vote on the progressive proposal is a “diversion” from having a debate on climate change.
“The games they are playing here will have no meaning. This is not a debate. It’s a diversion. It’s a sham,” Schumer said from the Senate floor last month.