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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 McCarthyBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with flags flown during inauguration Biden urges Americans to join together in appeal for unity 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 TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds 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 McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism 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 PelosiGOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer placed on administrative leave: reports Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden taps career civil servants to acting posts at State, USAID, UN 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."