#WheresMitch trends as bipartisan House bill on coronavirus languishes in Senate's absence

#WheresMitch trends as bipartisan House bill on coronavirus languishes in Senate's absence
Mitch McConnell, MSNBC

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.

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.

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 national Democratic Party wasn’t afraid to call the corrupt Senator out.

The rage is real. This former Marine’s popular account compared military service to McConnell’s refusal to sacrifice a Saturday.

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.

One student offered a possible solution to help the scattered senators back to work.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One popular anti-Trump account dropped my all-time favorite anti-Mitch GIF into the mix, starring Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

The outspoken Blumenthal, of course, is also ready to work.

McConnell challenger Amy McGrath, a former Marine, has remained unabashed in her disgust for the traitorous Republican’s absence.

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?”

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.

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.

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