Posts tagged with "Grim Reaper"

Schumer to Trump: Order McConnell to hold vote on background check bill

August 6, 2019

It’s a vicious cycle in the United States: A mass murder, prayers and vigils, a demand for background checks on gun transactions, a mass murder ….

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) called on President Donald Trump on August 5 to tell Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to bring a stand-alone background check bill for gun sales up for a Senate vote—dismissing Trump’s suggestion of tying it to immigration reform, The Hill reported.

Just after noon on Monday, Schumer tweeted, “… McConnell has called himself the ‘grim reaper’ and refuses to act on this bipartisan legislation. It is incumbent upon the Senate to come back into session to pass the House-passed Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 immediately.”

Following two mass shootings over the past weekend—one in El Paso, Texas, and one in Dayton, Ohio, that killed a total of nearly 30 people and injured many more—Schumer tweeted, “Instead of flailing around blaming everything under the sun, if the president is serious about ‘strong background checks’ there’s one thing he can do: Demand Senator McConnell put the bipartisan, House-passed universal background checks bill up for a vote.”

Trump, himself, said on Monday that he wanted legislation providing “strong background checks,” including potentially linking it to long-stalled immigration reform.

However, it didn’t take long for the president to backtrack. By 12:21 p.m. on Monday, Schumer had tweeted, “It took less than three hours for President @realDonaldTrump to back off his call for stronger background check legislation. When he can’t talk about guns when he talks about gun violence, it shows the president remains prisoner to the gun lobby and the NRA.”

The Senate left for the five-week August recess on August 1 and are out of session until September 9. A spokesperson for Schumer did not respond immediately to a question from The Hill about if Democrats will try to clear a bill by unanimous consent during pro forma sessions this week. The request would likely be blocked by a GOP senator.

Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut) echoed Schumer’s demand in a tweet on Monday morning—saying Trump asking McConnell to bring up a bill would ensure its passage.

“Background checks has already passed the House—w Republican votes. If Trump asked McConnell to support it, it would pass in a week. FYI – he won’t do that,” he tweeted.

Research contact: @thehill

Dems cast McConnell as ‘Grim Reaper’ in campaign strategy for 2020

June 10, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on June 5 that he’s unlikely to bring up the bill passed by the House on June 4 to provide a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as “Dreamers.”

That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with House Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s domestic agenda—from gun control to net neutrality, to LGBTQ protections, to voting reforms—which the GOP leader has totally tuned out and tossed out.

But now the Democrats have decided to use what they are dubbing McConnell’s “legislative graveyard,” as a messaging tool to topple Republican candidates in 2020, The Hill reported on June 7.

“He’s an issue in this campaign,” said Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. “I don’t know what the hell he’s for, I only know what he’s against. … Anything that helps working people, or helps those struggling to get into the middle class, he’s against.”

McGovern is hardly alone, The Hill noted. Pelosi frequently has denounced McConnell’s promise to act as a “Grim Reaper” on any House legislation as a barrier to any progress on Capitol Hill. This week, she marked the first 150 days of the Democrats’ House majority by rattling off a slew of proposals already passed by the lower chamber that now sit idle in the Senate.

“We’re very proud of the work that we have done to send over to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell has said he’s the ‘Grim Reaper’ — it’s a Senate graveyard,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “We have news for him: It’s alive and well in the public, and he will be hearing from the public, hopefully very soon.”

McConnell and the Republicans are returning fire—dismissing the Democrats’ proposals as frivolous acts—designed to energize the Democrats’ base but without a chance of becoming law.

“This isn’t a serious strategy to govern. They’re passing bills saying that this is what they want, but they know that they’re strictly basing their strategy on what polls well and not what can get into law,” said a Senate GOP aide. “They’re doing everything for political reasons, and we’re actually the adults in the room.”

Through the lens of political messaging, however, Democrats see a useful foil in McConnell, who has spent much of the year focused on confirming conservative Trump appointees, including almost two dozen judges, in lieu of passing policy bills. By casting McConnell as the face of Washington gridlock, The Hill noted, Democrats hope to portray the entire GOP as uninterested in governing — at the expense of the middle class.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, blasted McConnell this past week as the Senate’s “Rip van Winkle,” urging upper-chamber Republicans “to wake up from their legislative slumber and do their job.”

None of this fazes McConnell. “I’ve kind of enjoyed playing off of my enemies over the years, and in fact the ‘Grim Reaper’ title I gave myself,” he told Fox News. “Happy to embrace it.”

Research contact: @TheHill