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Home / US / Mitch McConnell's blockade on House Legislation is about to face the toughest test

Mitch McConnell's blockade on House Legislation is about to face the toughest test



McConnell is the immovable object: he is frustrated because he systematically blocks Senate votes on the list of passed bills, from gun control to extra protection for patients with pre-existing health problems.

However, McConnell's blockade faces a new challenge as Parliament turns to a series of bills designed to combat foreign interference in the 2020 elections. These measures, aimed at protecting basic American institutions from overseas subversion, may prove more difficult for the Republicans in Kentucky than the bills that Parliament has passed. And that could make them an irresistible force overwhelmed by its overall strategy of preventing action against any legislation in the house. "It could be the thing that gets the public house to where the problem is, where the obstacle is," says Democratic MP John Sarbanes from Maryland, a leading author of Parliament's security agenda. "The public, and I understand that, they paint everything with a broad brush and they say Washington is dysfunctional." Here's a case study you'll be very interested in, showing that the problem is not with Washington not Congress in general, the problem concerns Mitch McConnell, who will not bring anything into the Senate. "

McConnell's decision to methodically discourage consideration of one of the House's priorities is already threatening the GOP's efforts to secure its Senate majority in the elections next year. He has shifted into his role as an obstacle, presenting a Republican-controlled Senate as the last line of defense against a democratic "socialist agenda" and calling himself a "grim reaper" for their legislative plans.

"In fact, I'm the grim reaper when it comes to the socialist agenda, that they gloss over the house with overwhelming democratic support and send it to America," he told Fox News Channel last week in an interview. "Things that would turn us into a country we have never been to." McConnell's campaign even provides T-shirts with a gravestone for "Socialism" (1
9459006) on the front page and a similar quote that underscores his determination to block Parliament's agenda on the back. (19659006) The Impact of McConnell's Campaign The strategy is likely to be determined by the side that successfully defines the agenda he is hindering.

In his argument, McConnell focuses on the priorities of the left wing of the House Democrats, in particular the Green New Deal and a government-funded depositors health care system.

"He talks about just about every opportunity he can," says Josh Holmes, McConnell's former chief of staff. "Contrary to health insurance plans that end private health insurance or environmental agreements that basically shut down your electricity supplier, is something he feels comfortable with."

But neither health care for lone payers nor the Green New Deal, which the Republicans believe are an unprecedented government intervention in the economy, are expected to reach a vote on the house floor by 2020, let alone Chamber Pass

Instead, the law that Parliament passed this year – and McConnell blocks – focused more on expressing social values ​​and bread-and-butter economic concerns, such as support for the Affordable Care Act and the Confrontation with high prescriptions drug costs. Many of these measures are found in surveys overwhelming public support.

Legislation faltering

Thus, in early June, parliament passed a law potentially conferring legal status on millions of "dreamers". "Adolescents illegally brought in as children In a Sunday poll by Fox News nearly three-quarters of Americans said they support the legal status of these young people.
In May, parliament passed The Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in April also found that nearly three-quarters of Americans support laws prohibiting such discrimination.
Also in May, parliament passed laws to block Trump administration's regulatory measures that watered down the protection afforded to the Affordable Care Act for patients with pre-existing medical problems, as reported by the bipartisan Kaiser Family Foundation in April Third of Americans, it was It is important that health insurers offer insurance coverage to consumers with pre-existing health conditions and that they no longer have to burden them.
Most cases recorded in polls Strong public support for laws passed by the House in February calling for universal background checks on all arms sales. In a Quinnipiac University national poll earlier this year, a staggering 93% of Americans, including 89% of Republicans and 87% of gun owners, cited such a requirement to support women's law, legislation to promote greater gender pay and comprehensive legislation Extend voting and introduce new ethical guidelines for Washington. Senior Democratic House consultants are confident that they will pass a bill providing for a nationwide minimum wage of US $ 15 by the 2020 election, which will expand coverage for health insurance through the ACA exchanges, the Voting Rights Act Updated and the rising cost of prescriptions fights drugs.

Strong public support for most of these ideas leaves Democrats cautiously optimistic that next year's challengers will be able to present incumbent Republican senators as part of a "Do-Nothing-Senate" blockade on important concerns.

The occupation is to vote against things that matter to voters every day … sure, we will make these issues an important issue, "said JB Poersch, president of the Senate majority PAC, a leading Democratic Party Super-PAC.

The Democrats have been frustrated that they have not been able to pressure McConnell to put into effect parliamentary bills, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held a press conference last week she presented a map with "McConnells Cemetery" with bills and miniature gravestones blocked the same implacable equation Republicans 2013-14 During this congressional session, the GOP-controlled house passed a series of conservative priorities, only to see that they were systematically taken by the democratic majority were blocked under the leadership of the then Sen. Harry Reid from Nevada Despite loud complaints, the Republicans of the House of Representatives could never put enough pressure on Reid to force him to vote on the GOP plans.

McConnell feels politically sure to bottle-bottled the house's priorities, Holmes says, "for the same reason that Harry Reid did not. I was particularly moved by the fact that (the then spokesman) John Boehner moved everyone The priorities of Nancy Pelosi are not the priorities of Mitch McConnell, and he feels very comfortable with it. "

Electoral Security Measures

Electoral security could However, this is a problem that is causing at least some GOP senators to question McConnell's blockade. Sarbanes, leader of the House Democrats' Democracy Reform Task Force, said the party plans to pass "a series" of bills by August to secure the 2020 elections against foreign interference.

These bills will include some of the measures already contained in the House's bill The General Political Overhaul Act, HR 1, would provide more money to States to protect the voting systems against the possible ingress of foreigners, and call on the Ministry of Homeland Security to develop a strategy to counter such attacks.

Parliament also plans to adopt new measures to notify federal law enforcement agencies when addressing foreign employees with harmful information about their adversaries, as well as provisions that prevent campaigns from sharing internal information with foreign officials who have one Specify stronger disclosure of foreign ad purchases on digital platforms and clarify that this is the case It is illegal to work with foreigners to influence an American election.

"We may not bring every single part of this package to the ground before August and pass it on to the Senate, but we want to get a good critical mass of these important measures," says Sarbanes.

Surveys have shown that the public broadly supports further action against interference by Russia or other foreign actors in the 2020 election. A survey conducted by Monmouth University last month found that 60% of Americans believe the government is not doing enough to protect themselves from such disruptions. A survey by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin for the non-partisan law firm Action Works Action found that more than 4 out of 5 Americans support the demand that political campaigns inform law enforcement officials about foreign support services.

McConnell, as noted above, has a comfortable blocking debate on other parliamentary legislation with relatively unfavorable public support. But the Democrats of the House of Representatives are hoping that more Senate Republicans will ask for action on these issues, as the public is likely to see them as less biased.

  Why Mitch Rejects McConnell Hill Demands Electoral Security While House Dems Plans a New Push

"I think it will be a very difficult place for him and oppose those things that are supposed to protect the basic principles of our democracy," says Sarbanes. "This is about … protecting ourselves from outside interference and trusting that our elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner and without being influenced by fundamental issues, the principles of the Founding Fathers Keeping them in the way I think you stand in the way or at least do not respect American democracy. "

McConnell has not yet closed the door to electoral security legislation. Later this month, he pledged to provide the Senate with comprehensive intelligence from the Senate on potential risks.

"I would suggest that this has a tremendous impact on what the Senate is ultimately doing in this area," says Holmes.

But all of McConnell's signals suggest he will barely accept new federal election security initiatives. Last week, Senate Republicans blocked efforts by Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia to force a vote on a "mandatory reporting" law that many Republicans consider an attempt to embarrass President Donald Trump. McConnell shrugged in front of Trump's statements, widely condemned by both sides, that "you may want to listen to a foreign government" that offers dirt to a 2020 opponent. And Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the GOP leadership, has publicly stated that McConnell is unlikely to have a bill on electoral security speak, regardless of what Parliament will do next.

This opposition reflects McConnell's long-standing conviction against opposition to the federal government's influence on all aspects of electoral activity (he has long been the leading opponent of regulation of electoral campaigning) and his reluctance to take action provoking Trump. However, there is a danger that the Democrats will make electoral security a powerful symbol of the broader wall that McConnell has built against legislation passed by parliament.

As a sign of the future, the Democratic Party of Texas on Monday punished, for example, the Republican Senator John Cornyn, who is to be re-elected next year because he has joined the Republican opposition to Warner's legislation on the disclosure of foreign contacts. "If Cornyn is not ready to legislate, why is he in Washington?" Abhi Rahman, the party's communications director, said in a statement:

The normally wordless McConnell has enthusiastically accepted the role of the "Grim Reaper" for the House's priorities. The question is whether the Senate chairman will accept this identity enough for the Democrats to bury the majority of the GOP Senate in 2020.


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