Hirono blasts McConnell’s explanation for blocking funding bills: ‘One of the lamest excuses I’ve heard’

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoCitizens lose when partisans play politics with the federal judiciary Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court Liberal commentator: Trump's warning that supporters could play tough is a 'violent dog whistle' MORE (D-Hawaii) took aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday over the Senate leader's explanation for why funding bills passed by the House would not be considered for a vote in the Senate.

In an interview with "All in with Chris Hayes," Hirono reacted to McConnell's explanation for the situation, which he said earlier this month would only be resolved by Democrats reaching a deal on border security with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE.

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"Ultimately the solution to this is a deal between the president and Nancy and Chuck, because we need some of Chuck’s votes, and obviously, we need Nancy’s support," McConnell said, according to Politico

Hirono said that the excuse was one of the "lamest" she had heard for not bringing up appropriations bills in the Senate.

"I think that is one of the lamest excuses I've heard from somebody who has the power to bring the House-passed bills to keep the government open, and who has had no reluctance to use those powers to force a vote on eliminating the Affordable Care Act for millions of people," Hirono said.

"He had no problems using his power to prevent Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandGOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight GOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 MORE from even being considered," the senator added, referring to President Obama's final Supreme Court nominee, who never got a confirmation hearing despite being nominated with nearly a year left in Obama's second term.

"And yet he will say I have no power to bring these bills to the floor. That is so lame, and that is the excuse he gave," Hirono said.

Hirono's comments come after McConnell has pledged to not bring any spendings bills up for consideration without the president's prior approval, citing a desire not to waste time on bills that do not have White House support.

Democrats and Republican have battled for weeks over whether to fund Trump's $5.7 billion demand for wall funding and border security measures, which the president has demanded be a part of any spending bill aimed at reopening the government.

The partial shutdown dragged into its 21st day on Friday, with no immediate end on the horizon.