McConnell plays obstruction card on Dems

McConnell plays obstruction card on Dems
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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.) accused Democrats Wednesday of knee-jerk obstructionist tactics, flipping a script that Democrats used many times in recent years.

McConnell criticized Democrats for filibustering a motion to debate a House-passed bill funding the Department of Homeland Security that contained language blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

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“And now Americans are wondering: What could possibly lead Democrats to filibuster Homeland Security funding?” he said on the Senate floor.

“The legislation Democrats are filibustering would fund the Department of Homeland Security. It would also protect American democracy from kinds of overreach described by President Obama as ‘unwise and unfair,’ ” he added.

“Today’s Democrat Party seems willing to go to any extreme to protect the kind of executive overreach President Obama once described as ‘not how our democracy functions’ — even to block Homeland Security funding to get its way,” McConnell said.

He pointed to statements by several Democratic senators expressing concern over the prospect of Obama using executive authority to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingHillicon Valley: Pentagon pushes back on Amazon lawsuit | Lawmakers dismiss Chinese threat to US tech companies | YouTube unveils new anti-harassment policy | Agencies get annual IT grades Legislation to protect electric grid from cyberattacks added to massive defense bill Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE (Maine), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, told CNN after the midterm elections that Obama didn’t have the authority to act unilaterally.

“You know, the Constitution doesn’t say ‘if Congress fails to act then the president can do x, y and z.’ It just doesn’t say that,” he said.

Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world MORE (Ind.) said in November that he was frustrated that Congress had not acted on immigration reform but added “the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Former Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorTom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation MORE (D-Ark.), who lost reelection, told The Hill last year, “I don’t like government by executive” order and said he didn’t “approve of that approach.”

McConnell accused Democrats of contracting their past statements.

“And yet, all of these Senators voted to shut down debate and block funding for the Homeland Security Department. Every last Democrat voted to filibuster, rather than work across the aisle to address the very issue they claimed to be concerned about,” he said.

Reid used similar rhetoric against Republicans last year. In July, he slammed 26 Republicans for filibustering legislation they had sponsored, the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014.

“They block everything. I was hoping with a majority of the Republicans sponsoring a bill that we could at least move forward on it. People who sponsored this bill voted against it,” he said.

Reid called McConnell the “proud guardian of gridlock.”

“Senate Republicans deceive themselves by thinking that their obstruction is good for our nation — that the status quo is helping American families,” Reid said in September.

Now McConnell is singing that tune himself.

“So the Democrats’ Homeland Security filibuster needs to end now. And Democrat senators who say they’re serious about keeping our nation safe — and addressing what President Obama acknowledged as ‘unwise and unfair’ overreach — need to prove it,” he said Wednesday.