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McCarthy slams Democrats on funding for mail-in balloting

McCarthy slams Democrats on funding for mail-in balloting
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRoy to challenge Stefanik for Cheney's old position Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts Why Cheney was toppled, and what it says about the GOP and Trump's claims MORE (R-Calif.) on Thursday slammed calls to include funding for mail-in voting in the next coronavirus relief bill, arguing Democrats are attempting to use the pandemic for their political benefit. 

Voters in Wisconsin this week went to the polls in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and Democrats have argued the federal government should fund mail-in balloting to ensure people can vote safely.

But Republicans, including President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE, have criticized the idea, arguing it is an attempt to federalize elections and that Democrats are just trying to increase their votes.

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“The idea that you are willing to take the coronavirus that cripples on killing thousands of Americans, that's putting 17 million people out work, in a moment in time to be requesting money to make that happen, and you're talking about an election in November. I think you're thinking about the wrong items, I think you're concerned about the wrong thing,” McCarthy told reporters on a call on Thursday. 

McCarthy also argued shifting to mail-in voting presents an increased risk for voter fraud and that states are better equipped to handle their election proceedings. 

The California Republican’s comments came shortly after Democrats in the upper chamber blocked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week Masks shed at White House; McConnell: 'Free at last' MORE’s (R-Ky.) attempt to pass a bill aimed at providing an additional $251 billion for small business loans by unanimous consent.

McCarthy argued Democrats should prioritize passing legislation to keep the economy afloat, adding that he has urged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Ocasio-Cortez on Taylor Greene: 'These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time' MORE (D-Calif.) not to push for the changes in upcoming relief bills.

Pelosi pushed back on McCarthy’s accusations, telling reporters that “we have a different value system to what voting means to a democracy and clearly we want to remove all obstacles to participation."