Senate

McConnell’s office knocks Democrats over ‘the left’s Big Lie’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office knocked Democrats over “the left’s Big Lie” — which it pegged as the belief that “there is some evil anti-voting conspiracy sweeping America” — as Democrats look to push for federal voting rights legislation.

A memo from the minority leader’s office on Sunday predicts that Democrats will “try to use fake hysteria to break the Senate and silence millions of Americans’ voices so they can take over elections and ram through their radical agenda,” likely referring to calls by many Democrats to abolish the filibuster in the Senate to pass voting rights reforms.

“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans have repeatedly stood up to the left and their Big Lie that there is some evil anti-voting conspiracy sweeping America,” the memo added.

The messaging from McConnell’s office comes as Democrats are planning to make national voting rights reform a top priority of the new year.

After Senate Republicans blocked the Democrats’ two key voting bills last year — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — the party is giving the GOP one last chance to cooperate on voting rights before attempting to go at it alone.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) last week said he would force a vote on changing the Senate’s rules by Jan. 17 if Republicans again block voting rights legislation.

Many in the Democratic Party are in favor of nixing the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, but two — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — remain opposed.

Republicans, however, are hellbent on keeping the filibuster intact. The Senate GOP in a video released on Monday said Democrats want to nix the filibuster to “pass their radical agenda.”

The video characterizes the filibuster — a legislative hurdle requiring 60 votes for passage of bills — as a rule that “ensures millions of Americans have a voice in Congress.” It also accuses Democrats of wanting to silence Americans.

Schumer’s office on Monday recirculated a memo first published last week that accused GOP-led state legislators across the country of “pursuing and passing legislation that would dramatically restrict voting, putting our Democracy at risk.” It cited data from the Brennan Center, which found that at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting between Jan. 1 and Dec. 7.

The memo also said McConnell was attempting to “gaslight the American people.”

One area in which the two parties may be able to compromise is the Electoral Count Act, a decades-old statute that outlines for Congress formally tallies the Electoral College vote.

Both McConnell and his No. 2, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), have said it is worth discussing, and some Democrats have had discussions about the law.

–Updated at 11:17 a.m.

Tags Charles Schumer Joe Manchin John Lewis John Thune Kyrsten Sinema Mitch McConnell

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