McConnell to Dems: 'This Isn’t a Juicy Political Opportunity, This Is a National Emergency'

Majority leader says some Dems have told him they're 'embarrassed'

March 23, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Monday criticized Senate Democrats for blocking action on the coronavirus stimulus package, emphasizing that the United States is facing a "national emergency."

"They ought to be embarrassed," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "In fact, I heard from some of them who are embarrassed. Talking like this is some juicy political opportunity. This is not a juicy political opportunity. This is a national emergency."

McConnell's comments come after Senate Democrats blocked a $1.8 trillion aid package late Sunday night. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), told the New York Times that the current bill would not hold major corporations accountable when they receive bailouts.

McConnell castigated Democrats for "playing politics" and delaying relief for both hospitals and workers affected by the massive shutdown in response to the deadly outbreak.

"Democrats are filibustering more masks and aid for hospitals? Everyday more Americans wake up to the news that their jobs are gone. Their jobs are gone," McConnell said. "They're filibustering a huge expansion of unemployment insurance, which they themselves negotiated and put into the bill."

Some Democrats have said the health crisis presents a political opportunity. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said last week the coronavirus was "a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision."

McConnell said such opportunism "has got to stop."

"Hundreds of dollars extra per week for laid off workers on top of existing unemployment benefits and Democrats are blocking it?" McConnell continued. "It's got to stop and today is the day it has got to stop. The country is out of time."