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

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign MORE (D-Md.) on Wednesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Russian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Top GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat 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 SessionsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Trump tweets test Attorney General Barr 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 StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries 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 TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration 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.