McConnell maintains that Senate won't take up election reform bill

McConnell maintains that Senate won't take up election reform bill
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (R-Ky.) maintained Wednesday that the upper chamber wouldn't take up a House election reform bill.

McConnell reiterated his position when pressed about why he has only pledged to bring the progressive Green New Deal to the floor for a vote and not the election reform bill.

"Because I get to decide what we vote on," McConnell quipped.

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The Kentucky senator said earlier this week that House Democrats' sweeping anticorruption bill, known as H.R. 1, would never become law.

"This sprawling 622-page doorstop is never going to become law. I certainly don't plan to even bring it to the floor here in the Senate," McConnell said of the legislation Monday.

The legislation aims to expand voting rights by creating automatic voter registration and making Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.

McConnell, who as Senate GOP leader controls the chamber's floor schedule, acknowledged that "there's always improvements and reforms to be made, but this certainly isn't."

Meanwhile, McConnell has vowed to force a vote on the Green New Deal resolution before the August recess.

The resolution, which was introduced last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez makes endorsement for Queens district attorney Lawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech Markey releases infrastructure suggestions that align with Green New Deal goals MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenators offer bipartisan bill to help US firms remove Huawei equipment from networks Markey releases infrastructure suggestions that align with Green New Deal goals GOP senator announces bill to block companies from tracking online activity MORE (D-Mass.), calls for the federal government to make bold reforms as part of an effort to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

McConnell argued last month that Democrats were trying to avoid going on record about the liberal policy aimed at combating climate change.

"The only thing I would ask is if this is such a popular thing to do and so necessary, why would one to dodge the vote. This is an opportunity to go on record. … It's a debate we'll have in all likelihood sometime before the August break," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (D-N.Y.) has criticized McConnell's motives, arguing that his plan to force a vote on the progressive proposal is a "diversion" from having a debate on climate change.

"The games they are playing here will have no meaning. This is not a debate. It's a diversion. It's a sham," Schumer said from the Senate floor last month.