Democratic senators tweet photos of pile of House-passed bills 'dead on Mitch McConnell's desk'

Democratic senators have been taking to social media to share photos of a pile of hundreds of bipartisan House-passed bills that still await action in the Senate as tensions continue to flare over the pace of legislation in the chamber. 

“This is the pile of House-passed bills, 90% bipartisan, dead on [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Trump advisor Bossert says to test the well, not ill; Senate standoff on next relief bill McCarthy slams Democrats on funding for mail-in balloting Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill MORE’s desk in the Senate #LegislativeGraveyard,” Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWarren: Congress should remove funding cap for small business aid in coronavirus bill Democratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Overnight Energy: Coronavirus package punts on environmental fights | Court sides with tribes in Dakota Access Pipeline case | Trump officials walk away from ethanol court fight MORE (D-R.I.) said in a Wednesday morning tweet that featured a photo of a stack of papers labelled “Bills stuck in the Senate.” 

“Today, Leader McConnell could bring up legislation to: Lower health care costs, Protect pensions, Address gun violence,” Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCoronavirus crisis scrambles 2020 political calculus Coronavirus stimulus talks hit setback as crisis deepens Democrats call for stimulus to boost Social Security benefits by 0 a month MORE (D-Mich.) also said in a Wednesday tweet that included a photo of a similar stack.

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“Instead, he refuses to take up important bipartisan bills that help hard-working American families. Democrats will keep fighting,” she continued.

Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (D-Wis.) also tweeted a photo of the stack and called on McConnell (R-Ky.) to allow a vote on the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, which seeks to address rising prescription drug prices in the country.

The stack first appeared on Tuesday during a press conference held by the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which Stabenow heads as chairwoman. At the conference, Stabenow sounded off on McConnell and said he “turned the Senate into a legislative graveyard.” 

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Gesturing toward the stack during the conference, Stabenow said, “These are the bills — one copy of each of the over 300 bills that have passed the House that are gathering dust on Leader McConnell’s desk."

“It's 5,595 pages,” she continued. “We’re not including appropriations and other bills that will be passed. These are important bills that have come here to make a difference in people’s lives and Mitch McConnell has chosen not to act."

“It’s incredibly important to understand that 9 out of 10 of these bills, 90 percent of this stack, is bipartisan,” added Stabenow, who was joined at the conference by Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineCOVID-19 is no excuse for Attorney General Barr to skirt the rule of law Hillicon Valley: Google bans Zoom from its work computers | Dem cautions White House against using surveillance to fight virus | Lawmakers push House leaders on remote voting House Dems introduce anti-price gouging legislation MORE (D-R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuTammy Duckworth calls on acting Navy secretary to resign House Armed Services chairman calls for removal of Navy chief Overnight Defense: Trump 'may look into' dismissal of Navy captain | Acting Navy chief stands by speech calling ousted captain 'stupid' | Dems call for chief's firing | Hospital ship to take coronavirus patients MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: WHO vs. Trump; Bernie's out Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards | Controversial Keystone XL construction to proceed | Pressure mounts to close national parks amid pandemic Critics blast Trump mileage rollback, citing environment and health concerns MORE (D-Mich.) and Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightOvernight Energy: Coal industry seeks fee rollbacks amid coronavirus | Ex-lawyer for trophy hunting group joins Trump agency | EPA sued over reapproval of Roundup chemical Coal industry asks for financially beneficial rollbacks amid coronavirus House Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill MORE (D-Pa.).

Some of the bills featured in the stack include the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and the Raise the Wage Act.

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McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The demonstration comes as a number of Democratic senators have continued to take aim at McConnell — who has vowed to be the “Grim Reaper” when it comes to progressive policies in the Senate if the GOP maintains control in 2020 — over the pace of legislation in the chamber.

"If I'm still the majority leader in the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper," McConnell said back in April. "None of that stuff is going to pass."

In recent months, as the House-launched impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE has taken the news cycle by storm, Republicans have sought to blame stalled bills on the "impeachment obsession."

“There are things that we have to do that … we’re not making any progress on because of the impeachment obsession over in the House," McConnell told reporters last month. "I heard a number of Democrats in the House say they can walk and chew gum at the same time. Now is the time to prove it."

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDurbin: Bringing senators back in two weeks would be 'dangerous and risky' Trump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill MORE (R-S.D.), McConnell’s No. 2., also blamed the impeachment process, calling it a “distraction."

“It’s the combination of impeachment, obviously, which is a huge distraction not just for the House but I think for Senate Democrats as well," he said last month. "And it’s just, you know, they want to, on a regular basis, pick fights with the president." 

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHarris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans Rep. Massie threatens to block next relief bill, calls for remote voting MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked the notion being pushed by Republicans that the House impeachment served as a distraction.

“The idea that the House impeachment inquiry is some sort of distraction from other issues is plain wrong,” Schumer said in November, adding, “We have over 200 House-passed bills we could consider here on the floor, and plenty of bipartisan Senate bills.”