UNITED STATES—Many of us across the country are perplexed as to why Kentuckians keep re-electing Mitch McConnell. His near total abdication of honorably running the Senate has been ongoing for years, creating what is called a legislative graveyard with the piling up of bills passed by the House that he refuses to even bring up for a vote in the Senate. Essentially, he is depriving 99 senators from doing one of the jobs they were sent to Washington to do – vote on pending bills.
As senate majority leader, he wields an enormous amount of power in Washington, so I hope you can appreciate why all Americans should be focused on your senior senator.
I’m sure that if you voted for him, you must believe he is doing exactly what you elected him to do, which is to block anything that Democrats propose. Your position, however, might change if you knew exactly what it is that he does not want voted on, much less enacted into law.
The focus on the Mueller report gave us every indication that our representatives had little time for anything else. I was wrong. Since January, the House has passed nearly 50 bills covering a wide range of issues that are pressing and relevant for you and your state, and for every American, no matter their party affiliation. I admit to being surprised by the amount of the peoples’ business that the House has been working on.
A sampling below shows just what Senator McConnell has blocked so far:
-Regarding health care, the House voted to extend Medicaid, to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, to lower prescription drug costs.
-Regarding civil rights, they wrote bills for paycheck fairness with an equality act.
-Regarding gun control, they passed a sweeping bill for enhanced background checks that is overwhelmingly supported by 95 percent of Democrats, 94 percent of Independents and 89 percent of Republicans.
-Regarding the environment, they voted for climate action now, for local water protection, for an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program.
-Regarding the military and foreign affairs, they passed bills for veterans to have access to child care, and directed the removal of U.S. armed forces from Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.
-Regarding elections, the House passed a bill to thwart 2020 ballot box hacking. New equipment would have paper ballot backups that could be counted either by hand or by an optical scanner. When our intelligence agencies warn that the 2020 interference will make the 2016 attempts pale by comparison, this one should bother all of us the most. If our vote can be nullified, then we lose our voice to be counted. For those who may be secretly hoping that cheating leads to a Trump victory, can you be sure that it won’t be his opponent this time who would be the recipient of an adversarial foreign government’s influence?
It defies imagination that only Democrats would benefit from any of the above, so why is your senator blocking all of it? More confounding, why are you Kentuckians putting up with this? Don’t you also want to lower the cost of drugs, have people get enhanced background checks before purchasing a gun (supported by a majority of NRA members), get better water protection, ensure that your vote counts, or have veterans get better access to child care?
It may be naïve to believe that our elected representatives are in Washington to serve its citizenry because it’s quite apparent that Mitch McConnell is serving himself. He is being handsomely rewarded for his stonewalling since he keeps getting reelected. He has become a masterful firewall to comprehensive legislation for which we could all benefit. We see what he’s getting but what is he giving back? Surely it’s not his total blockade of legislation that could help us all.
If any of you in Kentucky feel that Mr. McConnell has overstayed his welcome, there are millions of people around the country of all political persuasions who will help you make sure he cleans out his desk after the next election.
Just tell us what you need us to do.