The new Republican-controlled Senate has already voted on more amendments in one week than the Democratic-controlled Senate considered in all of 2014.
Republican senators applauded the feat when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump slams Obama for ‘shameful’ 9/11 bill veto GOP chairman lobbies against overriding Obama on 9/11 bill Black Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP MORE (R-Ky.) announced it on the Senate floor.
McConnell made his announcement while colleagues were in the midst of churning through a batch of 10 amendments.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBlack Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP Report: Intelligence officials probing Trump adviser's ties to Russia White House preps agencies for possible shutdown MORE (Nev.), who presided as majority leader last year, defended the chamber’s record during a press conference with reporters earlier in the day.
“The success of a Congress is not determined on how many amendments people vote on. The success of this Congress will be determined on what happens to the middle class,” he said.
Reid accused Republicans of cynically blocking President Obama’s agenda over the past six years “and the middle class has been hurt, hurt, hurt.”
He argued that passing legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the first order of Senate business this year, would help Canada export oil overseas and not help middle class families.
Republicans campaigned extensively during the midterm elections on the handful of votes Reid allowed on amendments.
Former Sen. Mark BegichMark BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (D-Alaska) came under attack for not getting a vote on a single amendment he sponsored during his six-year career.