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Pelosi refers to McConnell as 'Moscow Mitch'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Pence pleaded with military officials to 'clear the Capitol' on Jan. 6: AP Democrats see political winner in tax fight MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Democrats see opportunity in GOP feud with business Biden resists calls to give hard-hit states more vaccines than others 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 PutinClose the avenues of foreign meddling Israel needs Russia, but it is not a marriage made in heaven Pentagon may send warships to Black Sea in support of Ukraine 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 Scarborough'Morning Joe' hosts criticize cancel culture over McCammond tweets Scarborough faults Biden for 'permissive' border message Scarborough says comparisons of Capitol riot to summer protests irrelevant 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."