WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding voting laws:
“At any particular moment, with total certainty, Washington Democrats know one of two things to be true.
“Either American democracy is so well-functioning, so sacrosanct, that nobody can possibly question or badmouth it… or democracy is in total crisis, hanging on by a thread, and only a massive, sweeping, partisan overhaul by Democrats can save it.
“Now, it can be hard to guess which of those opposite stories Democrats will be shouting on a given day. The narrative flip-flops at a dizzying pace.
“After 2016, when voters picked Republicans, Secretary Clinton and a whole cast of senior Democrats called the new president ‘illegitimate.’ Two-thirds of all Democrats said Russia had probably or definitely hacked into our voting systems and changed the tallies.
“A baseless conspiracy theory. A big lie.
“For four years, they kept insisting that democracy was broken and Democrats had to overhaul it. H.R. 1 was written and introduced on that pretense.
“As recently as last summer, when the 2020 election was looking close, Democrats and cable news spent multiple weeks in hysterics over what they said was a massive secret election conspiracy revolving around the Postal Service.
“Another big lie.
“It was one frantic meltdown after another. Constant silly claims that our democracy was dying.
“But last November, their story turned on a dime. Because Democrats got election results they liked much better.
“Now, suddenly, our elections were no longer in crisis.
“Now, American democracy was finely-tuned, fully legitimate, and beyond reproach.
“For about 11 weeks, from President Biden’s election through his inauguration, Democrats and their media friends briefly stopped being our democracy’s biggest doubters and became its number-one fans.
“But now, as Democrats look ahead to a first midterm that is almost always challenging for the sitting president’s party, the silly hysterics have been switched right back on.
“This spring, the state of Georgia passed a mainstream election law that expanded early voting and made drop boxes permanent for the first time. The left responded with a total meltdown.
“Regulations that left Georgia with more flexible early voting and more flexible absentee voting than many blue states including New York were — insanely — called “Jim Crow 2.0.” Georgia Democrats scared huge corporations into promoting a moral panic that was completely fake.
“It was a shameless effort to manufacture an air of crisis to help Democrats ram their election takeover bills through the Congress.
“But it didn’t work. The Senate rejected all the bad ideas in S. 1. So the made-up outrage had to be cranked up even higher.
“This week, state legislators from Texas decided to grab some beer, hop on a private jet, and flee the state in what they are pretending is some great moral crusade.
“In reality, they’ve just come here to Washington to snap selfies, bask in the limelight, and beg Senate Democrats to take over Texas’s elections.
“Once again, the outrage is completely phony.
“The Texas legislature was going to consider bills that would expand the minimum hours of early voting… make even more counties provide 12-hour days of early voting… and make it even easier for voters to fix mistakes on mail-in ballots so their votes count.
“These bills would apply voter ID to mail-in ballots through a simple process that doesn’t even require a driver’s license number. They would clean up voter rolls to remove voters who have died or moved away.
“Not controversial stuff. Common sense. More than 80 percent of Texans support voter ID.
“But Democrats have pulled out the same Chicken Little playbook that failed in Georgia. The same big lies.
“Yesterday the President of the United States delivered a speech that was set in an alternate universe.
“He called these mainstream state laws, these modest integrity measures that are wildly popular with Americans, quote, ‘the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.’
“This is our new president who promised to lower the temperature, bring America back together, and rebuild a civil society where we can dialogue as fellow citizens.
“That’s the person who is now yelling that mainstream state laws are more dangerous than two World Wars… more dangerous than poll tests and Bull Connor and actual Jim Crow segregation… and somehow analogous to the Civil War.
“What nonsense. It would be laugh-out-loud funny if it wasn’t so irresponsible.
“Here are the great sins of these Texas proposals. Here is what is apparently so outrageous.
“They want to wind down a few emergency COVID voting procedures — including drive-through voting and polling places that were open 24-7.
“I’m serious. That’s what this is about.
“Because of the pandemic, for the first time ever, some places in Texas experimented with these brand-new unusual measures. But now, winding them down is some assault on our democracy.
“If Texas is not interested in permanently letting people vote from their car windows or at three o’clock in the morning, then President Biden says, quote, ‘they want to make it so hard and inconvenient they hope people don’t vote at all.’
“These brand-new exceptions for a 100-year pandemic are supposed to now be sacred pillars of our system.
“Voter ID protections are supported by majorities of white Americans, black Americans, and Hispanic Americans, but President Biden calls these things, quote, ‘a 21st century Jim Crow assault.’
“One big lie after another.
“These people think if they just keep repeating the same melodramatic clichés, they’ll finally get to pull off their power grab.
“These false comparisons are an insult to the actual hurdles that Americans nation has overcome together.
“We have won two World Wars, faced down the Soviets, unwound brutal segregation and defeated actual Jim Crow laws, and endured the 9/11 attacks.
“But now the sky is falling? Because of these mainstream laws that people support? Because Texas wants to allow 16-hour days of voting, but just not in the dead of night?
“Do they know that nobody outside of liberal Twitter and cable television is buying an ounce of what they’re selling?
“The big lies and the fake outrage failed in Georgia. The big lies and fake outrage failed here in the Senate last month. They will fail in Texas.
“The big lies and fake outrage are totally failing to persuade the American people. Americans want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.
“Americans know that having widespread and accessible voting along with voter ID isn’t an attack on democracy… it’s the definition of democracy!
“Look — I understand that Democrats may be growing nervous about the 2022 elections.
“I can see why.
“Liberal policies are over-spending, over-borrowing, and hurting the economy.
“They’re destabilizing the Middle East, weakening our southern border, and increasing violent crime across our country.
“But the solution is not to keep lying to the American people about the health of our democracy.
“The answer is not this desperate craving for an unprecedented partisan takeover, so Washington Democrats can appoint themselves the Board of Elections for every county and state.
“The longer these fake hysterics keep up, the more that Americans will keep wondering just why Democrats are this desperate to seize control over election laws…
“And why Democrats are this panicked by the prospect of voter integrity measures that are simple, fair, and popular with the American people.”