Van Hollen calls for McConnell to seat Jones now, citing tax bill

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOn The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war GAO reviewing Trump hold on Ukraine military aid Democrats unveil proposal for 'millionaires surtax' MORE (D-Md.) on Wednesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) to seat Sen.-elect Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and allow him to vote on the GOP tax-reform bill.

“First of all, I think Mitch McConnell should now allow Doug Jones to come to Washington. He’s now been duly elected by the people of Alabama, he should have a vote for them on the pressing issues of the day, which includes the tax bill,” Van Hollen said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

“What we see instead of course is Republicans trying to jam that through before Doug Jones can be sworn in. But the fact that Doug Jones talked immediately about the importance of the Children’s Health Insurance Program shows he’s very focused on these kitchen table issues, issues of economic security, and he’s going to represent the people of Alabama,” he continued.


Jones scored a shocking upset victory Tuesday night in the special Senate election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office' Medill dean 'deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering' of student journalists Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report MORE, becoming Alabama's first Democratic senator in more than 20 years.

McConnell signaled Tuesday that the winner of the election wouldn’t be sworn in until after the Senate concludes its work for the year, which would mean Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeState 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE (R-Ala.), who was appointed in February after Attorney General Jess Sessions's confirmation, would remain in Washington when the Senate votes on tax reform and funding the government in the coming days. 

With Jones’s victory, Republicans will hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate for the next year.

Van Hollen on Wednesday touted the Democrat’s victory in Alabama as a message that the “undignified, gross politics that has come to exemplify this White House doesn’t have a place in this country.” 

“This was a big rejection of the ugly, divisive politics that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE has brought to the country, and that’s why this was such an important day for Alabama and such an important day for the United States,” he said.