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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 McConnellTrump has talked to associates about forming new political party: report McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment MORE’s desk in the Senate #LegislativeGraveyard,” Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats seize on GOP donor fallout Senior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure 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 StabenowYellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing Coronavirus relief deal hinges on talks over Fed lending powers OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Government scientists predicted border wall construction could harm wildlife refuge | Haaland nomination generates excitement in Native American communities | Trump officials wrongly awarded Alaska grant in bid to open Tongass 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 BaldwinSenate Democrats call on Biden to immediately invoke Defense Production Act Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 Senate Democrats urge Google to improve ad policies to combat election disinformation 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 CicillineWashington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment Pelosi names 9 impeachment managers MORE (D-R.I.), Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDemocrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege Democrats offer bill fining lawmakers who don't wear masks in Capitol MORE (D-Mich.) and Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election The Hill's Campaign Newsletter: Election Day – Part 4 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 TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports 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 keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days 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 SchumerNew York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration Schumer: Trump should not be eligible to run for office again McConnnell, McCarthy accept Biden invitation to pre-inauguration church service 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.”