18 bills that would have helped Americans if McConnell hadn't blocked them
The self-proclaimed ‘Grim Reaper’ killed hundreds of bills passed by the House without even holding a vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed last April to be the “Grim Reaper” who would kill all progressive bills as long as he was in charge. And when the 116th Congress comes to an official end on Jan. 3, the Kentucky Republican will have killed hundreds of pieces of legislation from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
In February, McConnell was asked about the roughly 400 items passed by the House that were still awaiting Senate action.
“It is true. They’ve been on full left-wing parade over there, trotting out all of their left-wing solutions that are going to be issues in the fall campaign,” McConnell told Fox News. “We’re not gonna pass those.”
But while House passed hundreds of new items in 2020, McConnell blocked action on nearly all of these and the still-pending 2019 bills. Instead of legislating, he devoted the Senate’s time almost entirely to ramming through as many of Donald Trump’s judicial nominees as possible, for lifetime appointments.
Many of the House-passed bills left to die enjoyed bipartisan support and some were even authored by House Republicans. Some would have extended legal protections to vulnerable American communities; others would have expanded access to affordable health care and medicine, helped fund essential programs, or protected people from dangers like gun violence, climate change, and domestic violence.
Here are 18 of the most significant proposals that McConnell and his Senate Republican majority killed:
1. H.R. 1, the For the People Act
This bill would have addressed corruption and sought to revitalize American democracy.
2. H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act
This bill would have provided funding to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
3. H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act
This bill would have reduced prescription drug costs by allowing the government to negotiate bulk purchases of pharmaceuticals.
4. H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act
This bill would have restored the Voting Rights Act.
5. H.R. 5, the Equality Act
This bill would have banned discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
6. H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act
This bill would have codified protections for “Dreamers” brought to the country as children by undocumented parents.
7. H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act
This bill would have ensured fair pay and made it easier to fight sex discrimination in the workplace.
8. H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act
This bill would have required universal background checks for all gun sales.
9. H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act
This bill would have ensured climate protections established under the international Paris Agreement.
10. H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act
This bill would have made the residential portions of the District of Columbia a new state: the Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.
11. H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act
This bill would have gradually raised the federal minimum wage.
12. H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
This bill would have renewed and enhanced protections against domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
13. H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act
This bill would have decriminalized cannabis under federal law.
14. H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act
This bill would have improved election security and curbed foreign meddling.
15. H.R. 5309, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act
This bill would have banned discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture.
16. H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act
This bill would have provided $3 trillion in pandemic relief.
17. H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
This bill would have addressed systemic racism and police violence.
18. H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act
This bill would have increased funding for the U.S. Postal Service and reversed a series of service cuts made prior to the 2020 elections.
The House of Representatives will have to pass all of these bills again in the new Congress.
Two January Senate runoffs in Georgia will determine whether McConnell is in a position to block them all again for the next two years.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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