McCaskill: 'Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms'

Former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade McCaskill: 'Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms' Claire McCaskill: Young girls 'are now aspiring' to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate MORE (Mo.) said on Sunday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPoll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' Trump says impeachment trial should move 'very quickly' MORE (R-Ky.) has “presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms” amid partisan tensions in the upper chamber.

“I think the Senate was broken, Congress was broken, before impeachment came along,” she said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “My first year in the Senate, I voted on 306 legislative amendments.”

“This year, there’s fewer than 30,” she continued.

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“Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms, from Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandThe Trumpification of the federal courts Juan Williams: GOP are hypocrites on impeachment Finding an animating issue is Democrats' biggest 2020 challenge — not Trump MORE to killing legislative debate," she said. "The Senate is no longer what it was, and the people of this country are going to have to be the ones politically to put pressure on this dysfunction and say we want unity, we want stuff to get done, we want you to quit the partisan food fight."

Last week, a number of Democratic senators took to social media to share photos of a pile of hundreds of bipartisan House-passed bills that still await action in the Senate. 

“This is the pile of House-passed bills, 90% bipartisan, dead on Mitch McConnell’s desk in the Senate #LegislativeGraveyard,” Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal MORE (D-R.I.) said in a tweet at the time that featured a photo of a stack of papers labelled “Bills stuck in the Senate.”

The stack included several high-profile bills, like the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and the Raise the Wage Act. 

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The demonstration came as a number of Democratic senators have continued to make jabs at McConnell — who has vowed to be the “Grim Reaper” when it comes to progressive policies in the Senate — over the pace of legislation in the chamber.

Republicans have sought to place blame over the stalled bills on what they call "impeachment obsession” as the House-launched investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE has continued to dominate headlines.

“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." 

However, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it GOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats have pushed back on that notion.

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