#WheresMitch trends as bipartisan House bill on coronavirus languishes in Senate's absence
The House of Representatives worked late Friday and into early Saturday to pass—with bipartisan support—a sweeping relief bill to dull the societal impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Donald Trump endorsed the bill, first on Twitter Friday night, and again in his banana-pants press conference on Saturday. Yet H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, languishes because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is nowhere to be found after dismissing the Senate on Thursday for a luxurious long weekend ... that won’t end until 5:30 PM Monday.
As Daily Kos Political Director David Nir noted late Friday, the landmark legislation “includes the longtime liberal priority of paid sick leave, as well as enhanced unemployment insurance, increased funds for Medicaid, and provisions to ensure food security” for those affected by the global public health crisis. Despite the House’s marathon efforts, McConnell, who on Wednesday dismissed an early draft of the bill as nothing more than an “ideological wish list,” seems content to enjoy a long weekend instead of convening the Senate to evaluate, debate, and vote on the damn bill, which will affect millions of Americans.
McConnell’s inaction and absence have led lawmakers and Americans alike to ask one question: Where’s Mitch?
This, of course, is not the first time this exact question has been asked. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set those two words trending, along with other freshmen members of the House, in January 2019, when the much-reviled Kentucky senator was nowhere to be found during the brutal government shutdown.
800,000 workers are missing their paychecks and we’re pushing to get them paid ASAP. We’re here doing our job - th… https://t.co/zQECzEr8Xy— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1547679349.0
Not quite 14 months later, the hunt for the bespectacled human turtle is on again, while, as Ocasio-Cortez notes, human lives are on the line.
Every minute, hour, & day that Fed action is delayed on Coronavirus puts lives at risk. The House has been hammeri… https://t.co/MK7J7ZOtL2— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1584164550.0
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown isn’t using the #WheresMitch hashtag, but he has been vocally protesting McConnell’s dismissal of the Senate since Thursday.
The House-passed package is gathering dust until Senators return on Monday. Americans expect us to do our jobs in… https://t.co/EJ2i5Buuc3— Sherrod Brown (@Sherrod Brown)1584206815.0
The national Democratic Party wasn’t afraid to call the corrupt Senator out.
Thank you, @HouseDemocrats for working into the night to pass the #FamiliesFirst Coronavirus Response Act. Now, Ame… https://t.co/BVJshLjXHO— The Democrats (@The Democrats)1584196663.0
The rage is real. This former Marine’s popular account compared military service to McConnell’s refusal to sacrifice a Saturday.
As a young kid, I was willing to give my life for our Great Nation. #MoscowMitch @senatemajldr won’t even give up a… https://t.co/MxDtzdJC5x— Private Joker, USMC (@Private Joker, USMC)1584176818.0
Daily Kos’ own Kerry Eleveld brought up the beer-loving elephant in the room: McConnell is galavanting with Supreme Court Justice (and accused sexual assailant) Brett Kavanaugh.
Oh. @senatemajldr didn't just skip town in a life/death public health crisis, he skipped town for some QT with Bret… https://t.co/Z19txIvE10— Kerry Eleveld (@Kerry Eleveld)1584204588.0
One student offered a possible solution to help the scattered senators back to work.
Smh if I can do law school over video calls, there’s no reason the senate can’t hold session over video either #WheresMitch— David Popoola 🇳🇬 (@David Popoola 🇳🇬)1584205689.0
It’s worth nothing that on Thursday, McConnell claimed to be eager to pass a relief bill, while blaming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for crafting a bill that would cause delays in aid.
Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s first draft from late last night was off-base. It does not focus immediate relief o… https://t.co/wY297AMpUs— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell)1584024185.0
The mostly-useless Trump-enabler from the Bluegrass State did issue a statement about the House-passed bill on Saturday. It didn’t acknowledge the long weekend, and included an odd bit of anticipation for ramping up the work of … cops?
I believe the vast majority of Senators in both parties will agree we should act swiftly to secure relief for American workers, families, and small businesses. I have canceled next week’s state work period so the Senate can work on this urgent legislation and reauthorize key national security tools that law enforcement need to keep us safe.
Apparently, in McConnell’s mind, “swiftly” is defined as “in several days,” displaying a complete lack of urgency.
#WheresMitch By running away from his obligations he is literally killing Americans. https://t.co/R9qiicFMfa— Impeach & Imprison (@Impeach & Imprison)1584171452.0
While he remains somewhat silent about his weekend adventures (though not an apparent trip to the “Houseboat Capital of the World), McConnell did make sure to express some rage about drugs.
.@SenateMajLdr: Grateful to @LMPD’s brave officers who put themselves in harm's way every day to keep #Kentucky fam… https://t.co/65KMUbtKsq— Senator McConnell Press (@Senator McConnell Press)1584108742.0
So where IS Mitch? He, and Justice Rapey McBeervanaugh, attended a fully ceremonial swearing-in of an already seated, fully unqualified judge, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports. Why on earth would he work on a public health crisis when there’s a scheduled opportunity to celebrate his successful corruption of the judiciary, plus a chance to bash Democrats?
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell led a conservative chorus on Friday that warned about liberal threats to the U.S. judiciary during a special event in Louisville attended by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
McConnell was one of two speakers at the oath ceremony for U.S. District Judge Justin Walker at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
The GOP leader, who has spearheaded a surge of conservative judge appointments such as Walker under President Donald Trump, reminded audience members how Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, was in hot water for controversial remarks at a recent abortion rights rally in Washington.
Local Democrats weren’t happy to have their senator in town.
"It’s stunning that while schools are closing and there are major disruptions to everyday life, Mitch McConnell is flying home to attend a cocktail party," Marisa McNee, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement Friday. "What our country needs right now is leadership. Sen. McConnell should be in D.C. working to bridge whatever gaps there are to get a robust public health and economic response to COVID-19 passed quickly."
While Americans wait for the shady conservative to return to Washington, there’s some comfort to be had in the fact that many senators never left.
The House took action to put #FamiliesFirst and I am in DC ready to act in the Senate. -Free #coronavirus testing… https://t.co/aXyzezTn90— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@Sen. Tammy Baldwin)1584211107.0
Standing in front of the Capitol on Saturday, ready to work, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz called McConnell out and emphasized the sense of urgency that McConnell seems to lack.
We simply must reconvene the Senate. No excuses. The virus is not waiting until Monday at 530 pm, and neither shoul… https://t.co/joZliVA76A— Brian Schatz (@Brian Schatz)1584199790.0
One popular anti-Trump account dropped my all-time favorite anti-Mitch GIF into the mix, starring Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
If you can't do your job during a national health crisis, just resign now Mitch! #WheresMitch Failing to be the… https://t.co/d3xNd5ACcE— STOP tRumpnado 🌊 (@STOP tRumpnado 🌊)1584184232.0
The outspoken Blumenthal, of course, is also ready to work.
This solid start to confronting a historic national crisis truly puts families first. The Senate—which should be at… https://t.co/THsqmwLecO— Richard Blumenthal (@Richard Blumenthal)1584203546.0
McConnell challenger Amy McGrath, a former Marine, has remained unabashed in her disgust for the traitorous Republican’s absence.
Sen. McConnell is going away for a long weekend without considering legislation to curb this public health crisis.… https://t.co/AEXS1HVzDE— Amy McGrath (@Amy McGrath)1584051876.0
Her Twitter timeline shows just how different she’d be, if elected to replace him; as she asked on Friday, “What good is a powerful senator if he fails to lead and work for Kentucky?”
I'm calling on Mitch to cancel his long weekend, get back to work and mitigate the damage of this public health cri… https://t.co/Y6pPoBkNY7— Amy McGrath (@Amy McGrath)1584129517.0
It’s not just challengers like McGrath: McConnell’s own constituents are calling him out for hiding from his duty, and calling for an end to his reign in November.
These are shelves in Louisville KY. Instead of working on solutions to the pandemic, our senator is AWOL from Washi… https://t.co/wsr3zMWlM8— Crystal Beck (@Crystal Beck)1584169252.0
Wherever Mitch McConnell may be, Kentuckians in particular are facing a lack of testing resources. As The Courier Journal reported Saturday, the state has only been able to test about 150 patients so far.