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 Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman 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 John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points 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 McConnellFor city parks: Pass the Great American Outdoors Act now US ill-prepared for coronavirus-fueled mental health crisis Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe 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 Pelosi Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death 5 things to know about US-China tensions over Hong Kong Pelosi calls Trump's decision to withdraw US from WHO 'an act of extraordinary senselessness' 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."