McConnell: Democratic plan to fund government is 'political theater'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Election security to take back seat at Mueller hearing McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE (R-Ky.) simultaneously preached bipartisanship during his first speech of the 116th Congress and dismissed a House Democratic plan to fund the government as "political theater." 
 
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor shortly after the new Congress convened, showed no signs of backing down from his refusal to take up the House legislation that would fully reopen the government. 
 
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"The legislation that House Democrats reportedly plan to vote on later today is ... not a serious attempt," McConnell said. "I would call it political theater, not productive lawmaking."
 
He also accused the Democrats of being more concerned about their "political standoff" with Trump than getting an agreement. 
 
Lawmakers and the White House are currently at an impasse over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. House Democrats are expected to pass a bill later Thursday that would fund the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, while wrapping together funding through Sept. 30 for the remaining six bills. 
 
But McConnell has pledged that he will not bring up the bill because it doesn't have President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's support. The Senate previously passed a seven-week stopgap bill days before the Dec. 21 deadline that would have funded roughly 25 percent of the government through Feb. 8, only for Trump to catch senators off guard when he said he would not support it. 
 
Congressional leadership and Trump met at the White House on Wednesday for a "briefing" on the border. Republicans say Democrats quickly interrupted the briefing, while Democrats say they thought the time would be better spent discussing the partial shutdown, which is currently in its 13th day. 
 
McConnell added that lawmakers should "not waste time" or "get off on the wrong foot." 
 
"The question is, will the newly Democratic House join in this good momentum or bring it to a standstill. It's a clear choice and will be clear to the American people watching all this at home: Good governance or political performance art? The public interest or political spite? Policymaking or presidential harassment?" McConnell asked.