Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knocked President Biden’s voting rights speech as “utter nonsense” for calling the fight over voting laws the “most significant test to our democracy since the Civil War.”
“What utter nonsense. It would be laugh-out-loud funny if it wasn’t so completely and totally irresponsible,” he said.
“This is our new president who promised to lower the temperature, bring America back together and rebuild a civil society where we can dialogue as fellow citizens,” McConnell added.
McConnell’s remarks come after Biden spoke in Pennsylvania on Tuesday about voting rights as Republican-controlled states debate and enact changes to voting laws after former President Trump falsely claimed the 2020 election was “stolen.” That claim, which Trump has continued to make, has spread among GOP voters.
Republicans previously blocked a sweeping bill to overhaul federal elections, known as the For the People Act. And McConnell has shot down concern about state-level changes, arguing that they are rolling back changes enacted for the pandemic.
Biden’s speech, and McConnell’s rebuttal, come as Texas Democrats are in Washington, D.C., after fleeing their home state to block Republicans from considering a bill to change election laws. They met with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats to push for changing the filibuster to make a carve out for voting rights.
“These false comparisons are an insult to the actual hurdles that Americans have overcome,” McConnell said.
Democrats have slammed Trump, and some of his closest allies, for continuing to claim that the election was rigged against him, describing it as the “big lie.”
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, tried to flip the line against Democrats.
“But Democrats have pulled out the same Chicken Little playbook that failed in Georgia. The same big lies,” he said.
“The big lies and the fake outrage failed in Georgia. The big lies and fake outrage failed here in the Senate last month. They will fail in Texas,” he added.