2019 In Review: Majority Leader McConnell’s Ever-Expanding Legislative Graveyard

December 31, 2019

In 2019, Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans transformed the Senate into a legislative graveyard, refusing to take action on critical legislation to help the American people. This year, more than 300 House-passed bills—including hundreds that have bipartisan support—have been buried by Leader McConnell in his legislative graveyard. The Senate has spent significantly more time this year voting on nominations than it has trying to pass legislation.
 
“This Republican-led Senate is simply not functioning for the American people,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “While the American people cry out for action to lower the price of their prescription drugs, to protect them from the Trump administration’s assault on their health care, to safeguard our communities from the gun violence epidemic and to secure our elections, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has turned the Senate into a legislative graveyard. It’s past time for Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans to allow the Senate to get back to work for the American people.”
 
Over and over again, Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans blocked commonsense legislation to secure our elections, protect Americans’ health care, support workers, enact universal background checks for gun purchases, and take action on climate change. Democrats are ready and eager to get to work in the new year, debating and voting on measures to help American families—but Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans must stop standing in the way. It’s long past time for the Senate to get work for the American people.
 
AGAIN AND AGAIN, LEADER MCCONNELL AND SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE BLOCKED CRITICAL LEGISLATION FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
 
Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans have blocked efforts by Democrats to pass commonsense bills on the Senate floor, including:
 
Election Security

S.2238/H.R.2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, legislation to help safeguard elections from foreign interference, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
 
S.2242, Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act, bipartisan legislation to require presidential candidates to report contact from foreign state actors to the FBI. VIDEO
 
S.1247, Duty to Report Act, legislation to require candidates to report offers of assistance from foreign state actors to the FBI and FEC. VIDEO
 
S.1540, Election Security Act, legislation to require paper ballots and provide election security grants. VIDEO
 
S.2669, SHIELD Act, legislation to prevent foreign interference in elections. VIDEO
 
S.1060, DETER Act, legislation to combat foreign interference in our elections. VIDEO
 
S.1356, Honest Ads Act, bipartisan legislation to apply the existing rules on disclosures in political ads on TV to those on social media platforms. VIDEO
 
S.949, For the People Act, a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest. VIDEO
 
S.890, Senate Cybersecurity Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to provide cybersecurity assistance to the Senate. VIDEO
 
S.1834, Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Protection Act, legislation to stop practices designed to prevent Americans from voting. VIDEO
 
Health Care
 
S.1556, No Junk Plans Act, legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk health insurance plans. VIDEO
 
H.R.986, Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
 
S.Res.18, a resolution authorizing the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the federal court case that would undermine protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. VIDEO
 
S.Res.94, a resolution asking the Department of Justice to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. VIDEO
 
S.Res.134, a resolution asking the Department of Justice to defend the Affordable Care Act. VIDEO
 
S.1905, ENROLL Act, legislation to help Americans find a quality health care plan.
 
S.455, MORE Health Education Act, legislation to improve outreach on health care plan enrollment options.
 
S.916, MOMMA’s Act, legislation to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate.
 
S.1573, Veterans Preventive Health Coverage Fairness Act, legislation to provide veterans with coverage for preventive medication. VIDEO
 
S.Res.420, a resolution encouraging the President to expand the list of medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange. VIDEO
 
Supporting and Protecting American Workers
 
H.R.7, Paycheck Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation to empower women to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
  
S.2254, Butch Lewis Act, legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ pensions. VIDEO
 
S.3104, Federal Employee Parental Leave Technical Correction Act, legislation to make a technical fix so that over 100,000 federal employees—including at FAA and TSA—can receive the same paid family leave benefits being provided to all other federal employees. VIDEO
 
Climate Change
 
S.1743, International Climate Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to direct the president to develop a plan for the US to meet its contributions under the Paris Agreement.
 
S.J.Res.9, bipartisan legislation calling on the United States and Congress to take immediate action on climate change.
 
S.Res.97, legislation to establish a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
 
Other Critical Issues
 
H.R.8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to enact the common sense, widely-supported expansion of background checks for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
 
S.2843, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.
 
H.R.1644, Save the Internet Act, legislation to restore net neutrality, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
 
H.J.Res.77, a bipartisan resolution opposing President Trump’s removal of US troops from northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan support. VIDEO
 
S.2755, legislation to require a report on the administration’s plan to defeat ISIS. VIDEO
 
S.2625, Syrian Allies Protection Act, legislation to make special immigrant visas available to Syrian Kurds that fought U.S. forces in the fight against ISIS.
 
H.R.549, Venezuela TPS Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Venezuelans from deportation, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
S.2603, RELIEF Act, legislation to eliminate the green card backlog.
 
S.Res.408, a resolution that recognizes the duty of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the President to protect whistleblowers who stand up for the Constitution. VIDEO
 
LEADER MCCONNELL HAS BURIED COMMONSENSE, BIPARTISAN PROPOSALS PASSED BY THE HOUSE IN HIS LEGISLATIVE GRAVEYARD.
 
More than 300 bills passed by the House are awaiting legislative action in the Senate, including:
 
Health Care
 
H.R.3, Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation to lower to prescription drug prices, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.986, Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.987, Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, legislation to counteract the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage the healthcare system, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
  
Guns
 
H.R.8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to enact the common sense, widely-supported expansion of background checks for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1112, Enhanced Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to close the “Charleston Loophole” for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
Election Security and Voting Rights
 
H.R.1, For the People Act, a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest.
 
H.R.2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, legislation to help safeguard elections from foreign interference, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.4617, SHIELD Act, legislation to prevent foreign interference in elections.
 
H.R.4, Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation to combat voter discrimination by restoring the strength of the Voting Rights Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
Supporting and Protecting American Workers
 
H.R.582, Raise the Wage Act, legislation to increase the federal minimum wage, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.7, Paycheck Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation to empower women to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.397, Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, bipartisan legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ pensions, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1500, Consumers First Act, legislation to strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
 
H.R.1423, Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, bipartisan legislation to eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
  
National Security
 
H.J.Res.77, a bipartisan resolution opposing President Trump’s removal of US troops from northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.4695, Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act, bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey for its military invasion of northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.2513, Corporate Transparency Act, bipartisan legislation to crack down on money laundering by Russian oligarchs, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
Immigration
 
H.R.6, American Dream and Promise Act, legislation to protect Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure by ensuring they have a path to citizenship, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.549, Venezuela TPS Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Venezuelans from deportation, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.3239, Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, legislation to establish basic standards of care for the children and families in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.2203, Homeland Security Improvement Act, legislation to establish an ombudsman for border and immigration related concerns.
 
H.R.3525, U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act, legislation to ensure that migrant children and families receive basic medical screenings, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.2615, United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, bipartisan legislation to promote greater security and economic opportunity in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which passed the House on a bipartisan voice vote.
 
H.R.5038, Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation to improve the H-2A guestworker program, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
Climate and Public Lands
 
H.R.9, Climate Action Now Act, legislation to hold the administration to the United States’ commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1146, Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1941, Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to ban offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.205, Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, Republican-sponsored legislation to ban offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1373, Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, legislation to prevent new uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.2181, Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent future mineral leasing on near Chaco Canyon, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.823, Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, legislation to designate wilderness areas in Colorado, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
Other Critical Issues
 
H.R.1644, Save the Internet Act, legislation to restore net neutrality, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.840, Veterans' Access to Child Care Act, legislation to provide child care assistance to veterans receiving medical services from the VA, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.3224, Deborah Sampson Act, bipartisan legislation to improve women veterans’ car, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.1585, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation that passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.5, Equality Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
H.R.2534, Insider Trading Prohibition Act, legislation to establish a statutory prohibition on insider trading, which passed the House with bipartisan support.
 
LEADER MCCONNELL HAS PROUDLY PROCLAIMED HIMSELF THE “GRIM REAPER” FOR LEGISLATION TO HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS.
 
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):  “The one thing I get to do that the other 99 don’t get it do, is decide what we’re going to do.” [Remarks at Susan B. Anthony List, 6/3/19]
 
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):  “Donald Trump still in the White House, and as long as I'm Majority Leader of the Senate, I get to set the agenda, that's why I call myself the Grim Reaper.” [Fox News Hannity, 5/9/19]
 
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):  “If I'm still the majority leader of the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass. None of it.” [Remarks in Owensboro, KY via CNN, 4/22/19]
 
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