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Mitch McConnell Defends His ‘Switch’

McConnell and Senate Republicans aren’t going down without a fight, claiming that 2016 was different because the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties.

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Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clapped back Monday against the Democrats who are continuing to spew vicious allegations of hypocrisy over holding a vote on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement.

Democrats are accusing McConnell and other Republicans of a major switch up when it comes to the Supreme Court, using McConnells decision to block President Barack Obama’s 2016 nominee, Merrick Garland, as ammunition.

But, McConnell and Senate Republicans aren’t going down without a fight, claiming that 2016 was different because the White House and Senate were controlled by different parties.

According to Politico, in his floor remarks Monday, McConnell argued that the White House and the Senate are now controlled by the same party and thus, the Senate should confirm President Trump’s nominee.

“Apart from that one strange exception, no Senate has failed to confirm a nominee in the circumstances that face us now,” McConnell said, referring to Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, who served on the Court in the 1960s but resigned over ethics issues. “The historical precedent is overwhelming and it runs in one direction.. If our Democratic colleagues want to claim they are outraged, they can only be outraged at the plain facts of American history.”

McConnell continued to highlight that the Senate is simply responding to voters. He noted that Senate Republicans expanded their majority in 2018 after the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. “Ironically, it was the Democratic leader who went out of his way to declare the 2018 midterms a referendum on the Senate’s handling of the Supreme Court,” McConnel said. “In his final speech before Kavanaugh was confirmed, he yelled over and over at the American people to ‘go vote!’ He told Americans to go elect senators based on how they’d approached their advice-and-consent duties over those weeks. Unfortunately for him, many Americans did just that.”

But, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rebutted, saying the majority leader and Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are “making a mockery” of their previous position.

“Why not just come to the floor and say I’m going to do whatever is best for my political party, consistency be damned, reason be damned, democracy be damned,” Schumer said. “They know there is no reason, no reason, no argument, no logic to justify flipping your position 180 degrees and calling it some kind of principle. It is not.”

In the contentious battle of then-versus-now, “Republicans argue that Democrats called for the confirmation of Garland during an election year, but Democrats say that with the Garland nomination, Republicans set a new standard,” according to Politico.

While McConnell is facing the brunt of these accusations since Ginsburg’s death on Friday, Graham, who is up for reelection, has faced his own sweep of relentless accusations of hypocrisy.

The South Carolina Republican, who said he would not confirm a nominee during the Kavanaugh confirmation, has since said he would vote for a nominee during an election year. But he too has spoken out, saying he changed his mind after the ugly confirmation process for Kavanaugh. .

With Trump’s announcement coming Friday or Saturday, McConnell and Schumer’s grueling squabble is only the beginning of what will be a brutal Supreme Court fight. McConnell has made it clear that Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the Senate floor, whether before or after the election, while Schumer said that at no time in the Senate’s history have they confirmed a Supreme Court nominee so close to a presidential election, which is 43 days away.

As expected, though, McConnell did not back down, referencing the confirmation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was confirmed in 33 days.

While the battle is just beginning, there is ultimately little the Democrats can do to stop the nomination from going through. With the White House and Senate being controlled by Republicans, Democrats will be forced to sit back and let it happen.

But, there will be consequences. Democrats say if Republicans move forward, they will “fundamentally change the Senate as an institution,” according to Politico.

“How can we trust each other if when push comes to shove, when the stakes are the highest, the other side will double-cross their own standards when it’s politically advantageous,” Schumer said. “Tell me how this would not spell the end of this supposedly great deliberative body.”

As the nominee announcement inches closer, the Democrat-Republican drama will continue to unfold, and it’s clear that neither side will back down without a fight.

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