WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding S.1:
“As I’ve noted before, Senate Democrats entered June with an agenda that was designed to fail. The Democratic Leader planned votes on a host of the Left’s most radical priorities.
“None of it was intended to clear the Senate’s appropriately high bar for advancing legislation. Instead, the failure of their partisan agenda was meant to show, somehow, that the Senate itself was failing.
“For months, our colleagues built anticipation for this failure.
“They even started previewing the latest argument they’d make when it happened: apparently, the same Senate rule a Democratic minority had used with abandon was now a racist relic to be banned by a Democratic majority.
“In the end, one particularly radical proposal took priority. S. 1 is the same bad bill it’s been since the House introduced its version in 2019, with the same nakedly partisan motives.
“But ever since Democrats got the election outcome they wanted last fall, we’ve watched our colleagues update the rationale for their partisan power-grab: states must be stopped from exercising control over their own election laws.
“The arguments here have one big thing in common with the ones our colleagues have deployed against the filibuster: debunked claims of racism.
“Remember: the last presidential election saw the highest voter turnout in decades, even amid a once-in-a-century pandemic. And African American turnout was twice as high in Mississippi as it was in Massachusetts.
“But when Georgia passed targeted updates to its election laws based on lessons learned during the pandemic-era elections, Democrats trashed the bill as a, quote, ‘redux of Jim Crow.’ They misrepresented its contents so wildly that even left-leaning “fact-checks” repeatedly debunked their claims.
“But by then, the train of disinformation had left the station. Pretty soon, any state that dared to deviate from unique pandemic-era procedures faced summary judgment in the court of liberal outrage.
“It hasn’t seemed to matter that the facts tell a different story. The bill that led Texas Democrats to exercise the rights of a legislative minority last month requires more counties to adhere to new minimum hours for early voting. The Oklahoma bill that expanded early voting for general elections was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by a Republican governor.
“And in my home state of Kentucky, the expansion of both online registration and early voting this spring passed on a bipartisan basis.
“Democrats will continue to insist that S. 1 is a response to these state laws.
“But we know it actually predates them. And we’re starting to see that even our colleagues’ latest rationale for S. 1 can be flexible when necessary.
“Prominent Democrats have railed against voter I.D. requirements for years.
“But now that voter I.D. is among the sticking points keeping the Senate Democratic Caucus from uniting behind S. 1, some Democrats have started indicating they’ve had a change of heart.
“Now, I would commend them for coming around to a commonsense position that 80% of Americans already support.
“But one supposed ‘compromise’ among some Democrats bears more than a passing resemblance to the partisan power-grab their party has touted for years.
“It even introduces its own disastrous new liabilities, like a proposal to automate redistricting that is constitutionally dubious.
“At the end of the day, which concocted crisis Democrats choose as justification for their top legislative priority doesn’t matter.
“They’ve made abundantly clear that the real driving force behind S. 1 is a desire to rig the rules of American elections permanently in Democrats’ favor.
“That’s why the Senate will give this disastrous proposal no quarter.”