McConnell Cries ‘McCarthyism’ Over Backlash For Killing Election Security Bill

on January 20, 2010 in Washington, DC.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) participates in news conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) complained on Monday that he’s a victim of “modern-day McCarthyism” because he’s being criticized for repeatedly killing election security bills.

Before formally kicking off the week’s Senate session, McConnell spent about a half hour on the Senate floor expressing his indignation over “unhinged smears” against him.

“Welcome to modern-day McCarthyism,” the majority leader lamented as he read aloud pundits’ criticism of him stonewalling election security measures.

McConnell then claimed the “partisan” bill he blocked on Friday was a result of “theatrical requests” by the Democrats.

“This kind of objection is a routine occurrence here in the Senate,” the Kentucky Republican said. “It doesn’t make Republicans traitors or un-American. It makes us policymakers with a different opinion.”

The bill McConnell blocked last week, which was pushed by Democrats, would allow more funding for election security measures and require candidates to report offers of aid from foreign governments.

However, even bipartisan election security bills haven’t been spared: McConnell’s refused to hold votes on those too.

During special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee last week, Mueller warned that Russia’s election hacking in 2016 “wasn’t a single attempt” and urged Congress to take action.

“They’re doing it as we sit here,” he said. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed McConnell last month for his inaction on election security, saying the GOP lawmaker “twiddles his thumbs and almost says ‘Come on Putin, let it happen.’”

Watch McConnell below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: