Pelosi refers to McConnell as 'Moscow Mitch'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year MORE (R-Ky.) "Moscow Mitch" while attacking him for blocking House Democrats' legislation, including election security measures.

Pelosi invoked the "Moscow Mitch" moniker while referring to McConnell's embrace of his portrayal as the "Grim Reaper" blocking House Democrats' progressive policies from moving forward in the Senate.

"We all want to invest in building our democracy and saving it from any enemies, foreign and domestic," Pelosi said in remarks before the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association in Springfield, Ill., as she discussed House Democrats' overall agenda.

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“We’ve sent our legislation to the Senate. Moscow Mitch says that he is the Grim Reaper. Imagine describing yourself as the Grim Reaper, that he’s going to bury all this legislation," Pelosi said. "Well, we have news for him. All this legislation is alive and well in the general public."

Pelosi's reference to McConnell as "Moscow Mitch" comes after he took to the Senate floor late last month to compare the attacks against him for blocking two election security bills to "modern-day McCarthyism."

“I was called unpatriotic, un-American and essentially treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of bold-faced lies. I was accused of aiding and abetting the very man I’ve singled out as an adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years, Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBudowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? Sanctions encourage Sino-Russian cooperation Return of nuclear doomsday MORE,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

McConnell accused critics in the media, specifically The Washington Post and MSNBC, of engaging in "unhinged smears," calling it "modern-day McCarthyism.”

The Washington Post, at the time, published an opinion column headlined "Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset," while MSNBC's Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughScarborough rips GOP over Ukraine conspiracy theories It's the aggressive progressives vs. the pragmatic moderates Scarborough: Trump is either 'an agent of Russia' or 'a useful idiot' MORE called McConnell "Moscow Mitch" and attacked his decision to block the election security bills as "un-American."

The bills blocked by McConnell would require the use of paper ballots and direct candidates or campaigns to notify the FBI about offers of assistance from foreign governments.

McConnell has also come under fire in recent days for declining to take up legislation passed by House Democrats in February to require universal background checks for gun purchases.

House Democrats are trying to up the pressure for McConnell to take up their background checks bill, as well other measures like banning high-capacity magazines and "red flag" laws meant to prevent unstable people from having guns.

"We've been waiting since February. And now public sentiment must weigh in to save lives, to pass our bill and to look at high-capacity magazines that should be eliminated as well," Pelosi said.

House Democrats have called on McConnell to cut the Senate's August recess short to take up gun reform legislation in the aftermath of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, this month. But McConnell has dismissed the idea.

"If we did that, we would just have people scoring points and nothing would happen. There has to be a bipartisan discussion here of what we can agree on," McConnell said during an interview with Kentucky radio station WHAS last week.

"We're going to have these bipartisan discussions and when we get back hopefully be able to come together and actually pass something. I want to make a law."