McConnell said the remarks were “inconsistent, incorrect and unworthy of his office.”
As President Joe Biden prepared to travel to Capitol Hill on Thursday to rally Senate Democrats on electoral reform, visibly angry Republican leader Mitch McConnell fired back Wednesday, saying he did not recognize the man who gave the fiery speech in Georgia on voting rights. a day earlier.
McConnell called Biden’s speech – in which the president called on the Senate to change its rules “however they need to be changed” in order to pass Democrats’ voting bills – as “profoundly, deeply non-presidential ”, considering that the remark a“ rant ”which“ was inconsistent, incorrect and unworthy of his office ”.
The Kentucky Republican has repeatedly disputed that Biden tied Republicans to Jim Crow-era legislation for obstructing electoral reform, as at least 19 GOP-led states passed laws over the course of of last year which, according to experts at the Brennan Center for Justice, restrict access to the vote.
“We have a sitting president – a sitting president – invoking civil war, shouting totalitarianism, and calling millions of Americans national enemies?” McConnell said. “Yesterday he poured a giant can of gasoline on the fire.”
Biden, a day earlier in Atlanta, spoke strongly in favor of changing the Senate filibuster rule so that Democrats can pass two key bills that are stuck in the Senate.
“Nowhere does the Constitution give a minority the right to unilaterally block legislation,” Biden said. “The American people have waited long enough. The Senate must act.”
McConnell, in turn, closed his speech on Wednesday by imploring his colleagues – including an indirect appeal to Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., whom he wooed to change parties – that it is up to them to uphold the tradition. in the Senate.
Unfortunately, President Biden has dismissed the ‘best angels of our nature.’ So it is the responsibility of the Senate to protect the country. This institution was built as a firewall against exactly – exactly the kind of rage and fake hysteria that we saw in full screen yesterday, ”McConnell said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had vowed to head for a showdown over the Democrats’ election law votes as early as Wednesday.
The Democratic leader met with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema on Tuesday evening – another Democrat who has not engaged in a filibuster exclusion but says she supports electoral reforms – and then with Manchin on Wednesday morning for about an hour as he navigates a push through Biden’s diary.
While acknowledging that he likely doesn’t have the votes to move the bills forward, Schumer said he wanted to force a vote to have Senators officially registered to show Americans – and history – where they stand on the issue that Democrats see as vital to democracy.
A recorded vote on these bills could be seen as the first step towards another vote on changing or removing filibuster on the measures, which could potentially fall on Monday given the symbolism of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Ahead of his visit to Capitol Hill on Thursday, Biden in Atlanta on Tuesday tried to shame the 16 sitting Republicans who voted to extend the voting rights law before – to support voting rights now.
“Not a single Republican has shown the courage to stand up to a defeated president to protect the United States’ franchise, not a single one,” he said. “Not one.”
While Biden, who has served in Congress for 36 years, has defended filibuster in the past, he changed his mind about electoral reforms, saying on Tuesday that a minority of senators should not be allowed to block elections. voting shares for all Americans.