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

Former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Democratic-linked group runs ads in Kansas GOP Senate primary Trump mocked for low attendance at rally MORE (Mo.) said on Sunday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms, from Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Senate to push funding bill vote up against shutdown deadline Poll: Trump opens up 6-point lead over Biden in Iowa 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 WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Feinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance 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 SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish 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.”