Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week MORE’s (R-Ky.) treatment of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (D-Mass.) will ultimately benefit Democrats.
“Can you imagine? [Warren’s] reading a letter by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King,” the congressman said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day." "She’s not screaming, she’s not having a temper tantrum, she’s reading a historical document.”
“For reasons completely beyond my understanding, Mitch McConnell decides to, in a country that cherishes free speech and open and aggressive debate, decides to shut her down. If Mitch McConnell wanted to further activate an already activated Democratic activist wing, boy, did he ever do that last night.”
Himes additionally mocked McConnell for silencing Warren’s blunt rhetoric while President Trump charges ahead on his agenda.
“The president is down there writing executive orders that have caused judges all over this country to stand up and say, ‘Oh no you won’t,’ and yet Mitch McConnell’s delicate sensibilities are offended by the reading of a letter by Coretta Scott King?” he asked. "I mean, come on.”
“If the Trump administration and the Republicans in the last year have been characterized by one thing, it’s freight train politics.”
The Senate voted to bar Warren from speaking on the floor late Tuesday after she harshly criticized Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE’s (R-Ala.) fitness to be Trump’s attorney general.
McConnell said Warren had violated chamber rules and “impugned” Sessions, citing her reading of a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King as partial evidence. Coretta Scott King penned the message during Sessions’s failed confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship that year.
“[Sessions] had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens,” the civil rights activist wrote of Sessions's tenure as a U.S. attorney in Alabama.
The showdown between McConnell and Warren quickly sparked debate on social media, with the hashtag “LetLizSpeak” dominating Twitter.