WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Democrats’ federal election takeover:
“As 2022 gets underway, working Americans and their families are facing a steady stream of significant challenges.
“The fastest-growing inflation in almost 40 years; violent crime rates that continue to rise, with many of our largest cities setting new all-time records for murders; a southern border that remains in crisis; a new, highly-contagious variant of the virus that President Biden promised he would personally crush; too few tests and too-slow new treatments on this Administration’s watch; and another rolling wave of school shutdowns, as Big Labor bosses continue to make hostages out of children’s futures over a virus that leaves children largely unharmed.
“Late last year, one poll asked Americans about the most important problems facing the country. Some were most worried about the high cost of living. Others said the pandemic. One-fifth of respondents, the most by far, said the biggest issue was poor leadership — at time when the Democratic Party controls the entire government.
“But, Mr. President, you know what wasn’t on that list of concerns? The fictional scary stories that liberal activists keep repeating about how democracy is on death’s door.
“The November 2020 election had the highest turnout in 120 years. 94% of voters said voting was easy.
“Only 33% of Americans say it’s currently too hard for eligible voters to vote. A larger number actually say the current laws are too loose!
“The American people are not buying the nonsensical talk of ‘Jim Crow 2.0’ or a voting rights crisis. Everybody apart from far-left activists and the press understands this emperor has no clothes. A few months ago, even voters in blue New York rejected multiple ballot measures to soften up election laws the way liberal activists want.
“This fake outrage is just a predicate for Washington Democrats to do something they have sought for years: Appoint themselves a nationwide board of elections on steroids.
“This is a takeover that Democrats have sought for multiple years, using multiple different justifications.
“It’s not a ‘voting rights’ bill. It is a sprawling, sweeping takeover of our democracy.
“Our colleagues’ bills would do things like forcing all 50 states to legalize corrupt ballot harvesting. They’d have the government send public funds directly to political campaigns. The same Attorney General who has frivolously sued Texas just to placate the White House, whose Department of Justice tries to intimidate parents, would be handed new power to micromanage election law.
“Some early drafts of this bill tried to literally, openly turn the Federal Election Commission into an outright partisan body. Talk about tipping your hand.
“These changes wouldn’t bolster faith in our democracy or our institutions. It would do the opposite. It would be a civic wrecking ball.
“And that’s before you consider that Senate Democrats want to destroy our own institution to ram this through.
“The current Senate Democratic Leader once said that nuking filibuster rules would be a ‘doomsday for democracy.’ Just a few years ago, more than 30 Senate Democrats joined a bipartisan letter supporting the legislative filibuster. President Biden defended the principle in long, passionate speeches throughout his career. Just last year, as President, he repeated that destroying the filibuster would, ‘throw the entire Congress into chaos.’
“There is no partial or limited nuclear option on the table. As the senior Senator for West Virginia put it yesterday, whenever you start talking about carving things out, you end up eating the entire turkey.
“No party that would trash the Senate’s legislative traditions can be trusted to seize control over election laws across America. Nobody who is this desperate to take over our democracy on a one-party basis can be allowed to do it.
“Finally, it is beyond distasteful for some of our colleagues to ham-fistedly invoke the January 6th anniversary to advance these aims.
“Washington Democrats have been trying to seize control over elections for years. Their first draft of the legislation at hand was introduced in January of 2019.
“The fact that violent criminals broke the law does not entitle Senate Democrats to break the Senate.
“It is surreal to hear sitting Senators invoke January the 6th to justify breaking rules to grab outcomes they have not earned.
“It is surreal to hear sitting Senators invoke January the 6th to argue that institutions can be trampled because they’d like a different result.
“A year ago, the Senate did not bend or break. We held strong. It is jaw-dropping for colleagues to propose to commemorate that by breaking the Senate themselves in a different way.
“A year ago, there was a lot of talk on this floor about protecting the norms and institutions of our democracy. About putting long-term bipartisan traditions ahead of short-term partisan power. Someday soon, it appears, we may learn which of us actually meant it.”