Republican lawmakers are starting to openly complain that bills they have proposed are being held up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) because he has filled their legislative agenda with votes on President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.
According to a report at Politico, GOP lawmakers who are facing an uphill battle to hang onto their seats in the upcoming 2020 election are frustrated that they will have no legislative victories to tout when they hit the campaign trail.
“It is frustrating,” explained Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) whose constituents in the farm state have grown disenchanted with Trump over his trade war. “But we are still working on a number of really good bills.”
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — who has her own problem with voters after she voted to confirm controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — also would like something else to talk about when she appeals to voters.
“It will definitely change soon,” she lamented. “I like policy and legislation. So, that’s my preference. But I certainly understand that due to the obstructionist tactics, regrettably, we had a huge backlog that we had to clear out.”
According to the report, no GOP senator has directly pointed the finger at McConnell, who sets the legislative agenda, but are instead blaming Democrats.
In an interview, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) complained it was hard to talk about the lack of action without it being interpreted as a shot at McConnell, saying, “Every time I talk about this, some knucklehead tries to spin it as a criticism of Mitch, and it’s really not.”
As for Democrats, they are pinning the blame squarely upon the Senate leader.
“People don’t understand that if the Senate does not become a Democratic majority we will see Sen. McConnell do the same thing, just stopping everything,” explained Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
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