WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that House Democrats’ sweeping government and election reform bill will not be debated or voted on in the Senate.
Speaking at a news conference with other Republicans, McConnell said, “This is a terrible proposal. It will not get any floor time.”
The House began debate on the bill Wednesday. It would make voting more accessible, congressional districts less gerrymandered, reform campaign finance laws and strengthen ethics laws for federal employees and cabinet officials.
At a news conference of the New Democrat Coalition held shortly before the GOP event, Rep. Ann Kuster, D-N.H., said that the bill is intended to make it “easier, not harder to vote.”
The NDC is a group of 100 House Democrats primarily composed of members who flipped seats from red to blue in the 2018 midterms. They endorsed the measure and another that would restore the portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requiring the Justice Department to preclear certain voting regulations.
McConnell questioned why the legislation was necessary, considering record-breaking turnout in the 2018 midterms.
“This is a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “People are flooding to the polls, and people are flooding the polls because they’re animated, they’re interested.”
He said he would be open to taking up a House bill if it addressed what he said was “voter fraud” in the 2018 elections, but that the rest of the bill was “not salvageable.”
“What it really is is a bill designed to make sure Democrats win more often, nothing else,” McConnell said.
When asked it will not get a hearing on the Senate floor but the Democrats’ Green New Deal Resolution will even though he also opposes that measure, too, McConnell said, “Well, I guess it’s because we get to decide what we vote on.”