McConnell: Democrats’ Longest Vote in Recorded Senate History Shows Pure Partisanship is “Tougher Than They Thought It Was Going to Be”

‘Well, what this proves is there are benefits to bipartisanship when you're dealing with an issue of this magnitude’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks this evening on the Senate floor regarding Senate Democrats’ partisan COVID-19 relief strategy:

“Well, my goodness. That has been quite a start, quite a start to this fast-track process. They were in a big hurry. We started voting on the first amendment, as the parliamentarian said, right after 11:00 a.m. the Democratic Leader held the vote open all day so they could try to figure out what was going on with their own legislation that they want to pass only with their votes.

“Now, the last time we had a long string of amendment votes, just a couple of weeks ago, we considered about 40 amendments. So if you multiply 11 hours of scrambling times 40 amendments, you'd land at about 440 hours. That’s about 18 days with zero breaks.

“So look, the whole idea behind this, I gather from listening to them over the last few weeks, was to use the crisis to jam through what the White House Chief of Staff called ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’ A little tougher than they thought it was going to be, isn't it? It turns out to be a little bit tougher.

“Well, what this proves is there are benefits to bipartisanship when you're dealing with an issue of this magnitude. We all remember that we did this five times last year. We did it together. I think there were no more than eight votes against any of these proposals. We spent about $4 trillion on pandemic relief. Every one passed, as I said, with 90 or more votes. Not a single spectacle like today, not one.

“Exactly one year ago, instead of partisan scrambling, we were humming with bipartisan work, working on it together. We had a bipartisan task force, building the CARES Act from the bottom up. We passed the bill 96-0. We were prepared to do yet another bill on a bipartisan basis. Several of our members went down to the White House, sat down with the president, laid out a proposal we thought made sense, given where we were now, but no, they wanted to do it the hard way. They wanted to do it the hard way.

“So now they want to begin the vote-a-rama that could have been done in daylight because of their own confusion. And the challenges of getting together 50 people to agree on something when they could have been doing it quicker on a bipartisan basis.”

Related Issues: Senate Democrats, COVID-19