WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday regarding voting laws:
“Practically every single week, Senate Democrats make another attempt at grabbing new power over American elections.
“Remember, a giant partisan power grab over voting procedures in every county and state was Democrats’ ceremonial first priority of this whole Congress. They revealed their mission from the very start. That first proposal would have sent federal funds to political campaigns, overridden commonsense state rules like voter I.D., and even changed the Federal Elections Commission itself from a neutral referee into a partisan body.
“It was so bad that even the New York Times called it ‘a flawed bill’ that was ‘destined to fail.’ That’s exactly what happened in the Senate. But the Democrats tipped their hand right from the start. They gave away the whole game.
“So every time that Washington Democrats make a few changes around the margins and come back for more bites at the same apple, we know exactly what they are trying to do.
“Many of the go-nowhere bills that the Democratic Leader has used for political theater had Congress essentially appointing itself the Board of Elections on steroids for every county and state in America. Congress was going to micromanage elections to a degree with no precedent.
“Today’s episode in this ongoing series is only slightly different. Rather than congressional Democrats trying to grab all this power for themselves, they are instead trying to pull off the power grab on behalf of the Democratic Attorney General.
“Instead of Washington Democrats in the legislative branch seizing power over elections in this country, it’ll be Washington Democrats in the executive branch doing it.
“It’s a slightly different twist on the same concept… for the same partisan reasons… with the same basic problems.
“In order to let Attorney General Garland dictate voting procedures, Democrats want to overturn Supreme Court precedent. Our colleagues’ flimsy arguments keep losing in court, so they’re now trying to overturn the courts.
“When states cracked down on the absurd practice of ballot harvesting, Democrats ran to the courts claiming discrimination — and lost.
“When liberals wanted to kill voter I.D. laws — which are popular with majorities of Black Americans and Hispanic Americans, by the way — they ran to the courts and lost then too.
“When the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that one part of the 40-year-old Voting Rights Act needed updating, the radical left said the sky was falling and voter turnout would collapse.
“The opposite happened. Turnout in 2020 was the highest since the year 1900. In one recent poll, 94% of voters say voting is easy.
“Moreover, the Voting Rights Act is still in effect. The courts haven’t struck down the law. That is simply false. The Supreme Court simply ruled that there was no evidence supporting the continuation of 40-year-old practices that were designed in the mid-1960s to address the specific challenges of that time.
“There is nothing to suggest a sprawling federal takeover is necessary. Nationalizing our elections is just a multi-decade Democratic Party goal in constant search of a justification.
“Their rationales may change constantly, but their end goal never does.
“Americans don’t need Attorney General Garland ruling over their states’ and their counties’ elections any more than they need congressional Democrats doing it themselves.
“The Senate will reject this go-nowhere bill today like we’ve rejected every other piece of fruit from this same poisonous tree.
“This body has real business we should be tackling. The defense authorization bill is months behind schedule. The majority has been derelict in allowing bipartisan progress on appropriations. These are things we need to be doing.
“Every designed-to-fail political show vote comes at the expense of the things that we ought to be working on.”