Underwood betrays herself as one of the “outrage industrial complex” McConnell said are complaining because he blocked partisan election security legislation
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood this week has been making blatantly false claims about why House-passed legislation have not moved in the Senate. She claims Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demands “unanimous consent” for bills passed in the House to be considered in the Senate. That statement is completely false. On Tuesday, she told the Northwest Herald editorial board the following:
Underwood said many bills passed in the House could get a 51-vote majority or 60-vote supermajority in the Senate – such as universal background checks, staying in the Paris Climate Accords and election security measures – but are landing with a thud. Underwood targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not advancing legislation that doesn’t carry unanimous consent. [emphasis added]
“I think that we have passed over 200 bills in the House, many of which have had Republican support—many things,” Underwood said. “And the idea because they didn’t have unanimous support they can’t be considered, that is gridlock and dysfunction at a level that I had never even contemplated and I point to one man – Mitch McConnell – as being the problem.” [emphasis added again]Northwest Herald, published online 9/4/19
And yesterday, Underwood told the editorial board at the Daily Herald:
“You know the idea that the Senate won’t move anything, at all, unless it can pass by something called unanimous consent, that’s Mitch McConnell’s standard where all 100 senators have to agree with the legislation as printed on paper, no line edits, no amendments and that’s it, right?“ [emphasis added]Daily Herald video interview published 9/5/19
This issue Underwood raises of “unanimous consent” being required by McConnell for the passage of everything in the Senate is not even consistent with what Congressman Sean Casten said in his interview with the Northwest Herald last week. He didn’t mention “unanimous consent”, nor is this being said by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
So I Googled “Mitch McConnell unanimous consent” and the only references I found were articles from July about denying Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s request to pass, by unanimous consent, the House passed election security legislation, H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Election (SAFE) Act.
The SAFE Act was discussed in yesterday’s McHenry County Blog IL-14 update, and was discussed in some detail in an IL-06/IL-14 article published on 8/25. Here is what McConnell said concerning holding up the SAFE Act, from The Hill:
…McConnell objected, saying Schumer was trying to pass “partisan legislation.”
“Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law. Clearly something so partisan that it only received one single solitary Republican vote in the House is not going to travel through the Senate by unanimous consent,” McConnell said. [emphasis added]
Under the Senate’s rules any one senator can request consent to pass a bill, but any one senator can object.The Hill, 7/25/19
So now we see the real issue. Overly partisan legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House with barely ANY Republican support, and now Underwood takes this to mean ALL legislation. This was discussed at length in McHenry County Blog articles, especially the 8/25 issue (link below for reference), but what was pointed out was 1 to 19 Republicans backing legislation in the House is not bipartisan, but partisan.
One believes if real bipartisan legislation passes the House, McConnell and Senate Republicans will be amenable to consider it, even if it requires a roll call as opposed to unanimous consent. And like it or not, Congresswoman, the bulk of the legislation passed in the House, with a few exceptions, are overly partisan and either straight-party, or had less than 20 Republicans voting in favor, including the following:
- Gun legislation (H.R. 8/1112)
- The SAFE Act (H.R. 2722)
- For the People Act (H.R. 1)
- Equality Act (H.R. 5)
- American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6)
- Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7)
- Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644)
- Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act (H.R. 3239)
So with Underwood’s outrageous claim, that is not even true, either she does not understand how the Senate works, or she is blatantly spreading false information about the honorable members of the Senate, led by McConnell. Or maybe she’s simply frustrated with the fact the Democratic Party she’s a part of is in the minority in the Senate, and the Senate is forcing House Democrats to work with the Senate in good-faith, and that is something Underwood is unaccustomed in the House.
Finally, let’s look at events from late July and McConnell’s position on blocking the House-passed election security legislation:
Last week [week of July 22], McConnell blocked election security legislation that Democrats attempted to bring to the floor. One of the bills pushed by Democrats in the Senate would require that candidates, campaign officials and family members notify the FBI of any offers of assistance from foreign governments. Another would require the use of paper ballots and boost funding for election security and infrastructure.
McConnell defended his procedural roadblock on the legislation, noting that unanimous consent requests from the minority party are frequently denied.
“This kind of objection is a routine occurrence here in the Senate. It doesn’t make Republicans traitors or un-American. It makes us policymakers with a different opinion,” said McConnell. “But the outrage industrial complex doesn’t let a little thing like reality get in their way.”Roll Call, 7/29/19
And McConnell closed his comments from July with this:
“Let me make this crystal clear for the hyperventilating hacks who haven’t actually followed this issue. Every single member of the Senate agrees that Russian meddling was real and is real,” said McConnell. “We all agree that the federal government, state governments and the private sector all have obligations to take this threat seriously and bolster our defenses.”
McConnell called the criticism of his action on election security “modern-day McCarthyism” repeatedly during his fiery speech.
He said that the original McCarthyism diminished the country’s ability to stand up to the Soviets during the Cold War because Americans were divided against themselves.
“McCarthyism did the Russians’ work for them,” he said, before drawing a comparison to today’s political climate.
“Now, here we are in 2019. Again, Putin and the Russians seek to provoke fear and division in our country,” McConnell said. “American pundits calling an American official treasonous because of a policy disagreement, if anything, is an asset to the Russians. It is disgusting behavior.” [emphasis added]Roll Call, 7/29
And Underwood spreading, on purpose, false information to the newspapers and throughout the district while representing IL-14 is “disgusting behavior”, too. A difference of opinion is one thing, but abandoning her integrity is the real issue if Underwood continues her false statements.
Please, click the link to the Daily Herald and watch the video and observe Underwood on camera talking about Mitch McConnell. Don’t miss her facial expressions and body language.
- Daily Herald 9/5/19 Video Interview with Lauren Underwood: https://youtu.be/pK2OcbVlkoc
- Washington Post 9/5/19 “McConnell’s August of missed opportunities gives way to a fierce fall session”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/mcconnells-august-of-missed-opportunities-gives-way-to-a-fierce-fall-session/2019/09/04/1336f16e-cf46-11e9-87fa-8501a456c003_story.html
- The Hill 7/25/19 “McConnell Blocks Democrat’s Request for Unanimous Consent”: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/454742-mcconnell-blocks-two-election-security-bills
- Roll Call 7/29/19 “McConnell bristles at ‘hyperventilating hacks’ criticizing his blocking of election security legislation, Senate majority leader calls critiques ‘modern-day McCarthyism’ ” : https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/mcconnell-bristles-hyperventilating-hacks-criticizing-blocking-election-security-legislation
- McHenry County Blog 8/25/19 “Bipartisan” : http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2019/08/25/il-06-il-14-bipartisan-and-bipartisanship