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Mitch McConnell slams House for 'paid leave' in May

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Mitch McConnell slams House for ‘paid go away’ in May

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed House Democrats on Thursday for taking “paid leave” through the coronavirus.

“While essential workers across the country continue to clock in, the Democratic House of Representatives has essentially put itself on paid leave for months,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, stated on the Senate flooring. “I understand they’ve convened for legislative session a grand total of two days — two — in the last eight weeks.”

“At this point, I’m wondering if we should send senators over there to collect their newspaper and water the plants,” he added.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer argued the alternative is true, criticizing the Republican chief for not placing any coronavirus laws on the ground.

“If you looked at our activity in the last three weeks, you’d hardly know that there was a COVID-19 crisis,” the New York Democrat stated.

The Senate has held a number of coronavirus-related committee hearings over the previous month, most lately with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

However, Republicans usually have resisted engaged on any new reduction bundle, save for trying into legal responsibility protections for small enterprise house owners and healthcare suppliers.

Mr. McConnell argued it wasn’t simply the truth that House members aren’t bodily current on Capitol Hill, however that there hasn’t been “any serious discussions” for coronavirus. He dismissed the $three trillion Democrat-led invoice the House handed final week as a mere messaging invoice.

House Democrats canceled their plans to return in particular person originally of this month after the Capitol doctor warned that members could be placing themselves in danger touring to the Washington D.C. space, the place coronavirus instances are nonetheless climbing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended that call, arguing that the House had 4 occasions as many lawmakers because the 100-member Senate did.

After dealing with a number of hurdles with makes an attempt at unanimous consent and voice votes, the House handed the final two main coronavirus payments — their $three trillion bundle and the emergency interim invoice — by reconvening the House in particular person for voting day solely.

They stretched out the voting and debate course of by limiting the variety of lawmakers allowed on the ground at any given time and organising the vote in alphabetically-sorted teams.

Last week, Democrats adopted a brief 45-day emergency rule change that will formally permit members to do committee work nearly and vote by designating sure proxies to solid their vote for them. Members can solely proxy for as much as ten members at a time and the directions should be recorded in writing.

The historic guidelines change handed on a 217-189 vote, with Republican management arguing the measure was a tradition-breaking energy seize.

Mrs. Pelosi formally approved proxy voting for subsequent week, when the House is predicted to vote on the Senate-amended FISA reauthorization invoice.

Mr. McConnell additionally criticized the Democrats’ work-from-home answer.

“The Democrats’ new rule says one person may mark himself and ten others present, even if they are nowhere in sight. A flat out lie,” he stated. “There will be enormous constitutional questions around anything the House does if they fail to demonstrate a real quorum but plow ahead anyhow.”

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