McConnell leans into impeachment fight

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (R-Ky.) is leaning into the fight against the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE

McConnell on Wednesday, for the second time in two days, lashed out at House Democrats from the Senate floor, painting them as too focused on the inquiry to work on legislation.

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"All their energy is going into this all-consuming impeachment parade that has been rolling on for three years now," McConnell said. "Speaker Pelosi's efforts to hold back her left-wing caucus have officially crumbled and the House has thrown itself into impeachment."  

Democrats are at the start of inquiry focused on whether Trump held up Ukraine aid as part of an effort to pressure the government to open up an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE and his son Hunter Biden. 

Trump and his allies have lashed out at Democrats for not holding a formal vote to open the impeachment inquiry. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKlobuchar shuts down idea a woman can't beat Trump: 'Pelosi does it every day' Budowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) has said that a vote isn't required under the rules and doubled down on Tuesday reiterating that they would not hold a vote. 

But McConnell knocked Democrats on Wednesday, suggesting they were ignoring "fairness and due process." 

“The Democrats’ process already speaks for itself. For the first time ever, Speaker Pelosi has simply ordered the House to conduct an inquiry into impeaching a President without a full vote of the House. Just yesterday, the Speaker doubled down on this unprecedented and undemocratic process by once again refusing to hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry," he said.  

Pelosi has tried to highlight the broader Democratic agenda despite the ongoing focus on impeachment, including holding a press conference yesterday on college affordability. Last month she repeatedly asked reporters if they had policy questions before turning to impeachment. 

The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on a slate of Trump nominees this week, including confirming the next Air Force secretary. Republicans are also trying to build pressure on Democrats to take up Trump's trade deal with Canada and Mexico. 

"The Democrats would rather fight with the White House than work with Republicans and the administration to pass legislation. ... Senate Republicans have been ready and waiting for weeks and months to do our part and actually make law on these subjects for the benefit of American families. We just need our counterparts across the Capitol to get serious about this," McConnell said.  

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTensions rise in Senate's legislative 'graveyard' 2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (D-N.Y.) defended Pelosi, saying the "task was thrust upon them." 

"I know our colleagues in the House of Representatives did not run for office to begin an impeachment inquiry, but this task was thrust upon them by the president's alleged conduct and the demands of our Constitution," he said.