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 McConnellFormer HUD Secretary: Congress 'should invest 0B in direct rental assistance' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated House approves .5T green infrastructure plan MORE’s desk in the Senate #LegislativeGraveyard,” Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list Key Democrat accuses Labor head of 'misleading' testimony on jobless benefits Sheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary 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 StabenowSenators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list Sheldon Whitehouse leads Democrats into battle against Trump judiciary 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 campaign adds staff in three battleground states Clinton, Buttigieg among Democrats set to hold virtual events for Biden Warren top choice for VP for some Black progressives 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 CicillineOVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower says California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' | EPA won't defend policy blocking grantees from serving on boards | Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change DOJ whistleblower: California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' Hillicon Valley: Apple's developer dispute draws lawmaker scrutiny of App Store | GOP senator blocks bill to expand mail-in and early voting | Twitter flags Trump tweet on protesters for including 'threat of harm' MORE (D-R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuTrump campaign touts 4M online viewers for Tulsa rally Trump mocked for low attendance at rally House panel advances police reform bill MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDingell pushes provision to curtail drunk driving in House infrastructure package 18 states fight conservative think tank effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards Pelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' MORE (D-Mich.) and Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance Republican Jim Bognet to challenge Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright 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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops 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 ThuneMcConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties GOP skeptical of polling on Trump 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 SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Top intelligence officials to brief Gang of Eight on Thursday Over 1700 veterans ask Senate to pass statehood bill 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.”