Senate Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they really don’t want to get anything done this year. In fact, they are about to set a record that hasn’t been touched since 1956 — fewest days actually working within the Senate chamber on bills for the American people. And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can claim a few appropriation bills as somewhat of an accomplishment, alongside opening up the amendment process, he really shouldn’t be too proud of himself.
Here’s the thing. He doesn’t even seem to care.
After taking over as Majority Leader following the 2014 election, McConnell made the bold statement:
The first thing I need to do is to get the Senate back to normal. That means working more. I don’t think we’ve had any votes on Friday in anybody’s memory.
Which was very true, but now in 2016, it is still very true. The senators come in on Monday and leave Thursday afternoon. Keep in mind, when Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) was Senate Majority Leader prior to McConnell in 2013 and 2014, the Senate didn’t work all that much, but now with only three Friday sessions all year, we’re looking at a pretty dismal showing of our nation’s senators. Including the longest summer recess in 60 years.
According to Politico:
The Senate was scheduled to be in session only 149 days this year, but all of the four-day workweeks have put the chamber on track to be in for just 124 days. That will only change if McConnell begins scheduling more Friday sessions.
Of course, Republicans in the Senate are claiming time and time again that it’s not the amount of time in the chamber that matters, but rather the work that is being done. But what have they done? Not a whole heck of a lot, but they sure do like to speak to hear themselves talk.
Keep in mind McConnell is also refusing to confirm Merrick Garland for Supreme Court Justice with the Republican excuse that not confirming him is freeing up time to work on other matters. With Politico reporting:
Democrats scoff at that logic, accusing GOP leaders of ignoring everything from funding to combat the Zika virus to a criminal justice bill that has backing from many rank-and-file Republicans. Republicans have also failed to pass a budget after needling Democrats for failing to do so when they were in power.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) probably said it best when he said:
It’d be nice to have a year when we actually did things, and this is something that we could do. know we have a number of Republicans and a number of Democrats who have been working very, very hard. I’d just like to maybe take a few less recesses and vacations.
It should also be added that Mitch McConnell should be held responsible for not doing his job. He was elected by the people to work for the people, and then made Majority Leader to grant him the position with one of the greatest amounts of influence to get the job done. A job he refuses to do, unless it suits his personal political fancy.
Regardless if one is a Democrat or Republican, these senators are elected to represent the people who have elected them. They expect the will of the people, not just the will of the Majority Leader. Because of this, and how he ignored the solemn oath he took to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which [he’s] about to enter: So help [him] God,” he needs to be held accountable and perhaps even impeached, so that someone else who wants to do their job can take over.
McConnell seems to believe that by doing nothing, he’s doing something. He seems quite willing to throw the nation under the bus, go against the Constitution and hold back a Supreme Court confirmation for his own political priorities of doing everything to prevent President Obama from getting what he wants — rather, what is necessary for the good of the people.
It’s pathetic and repugnant.
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