MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday criticized Senate Republicans for opposing Democratic legislation.
Ruhle dismissed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R., Calif) argument that impeachment has interfered with legislative progress by pointing to the Republican-controlled Senate's unwillingness to rubber stamp bills passed by House Democrats.
"At this point there are over 300 bills, passed by the Democratic-controlled House, sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk," Ruhle said. "How on Earth does Kevin McCarthy make that argument?"
Michael Steele, a longtime spokesman for former House speaker John Boehner, said that many of those bills, such as a mandatory $15 minimum wage, have only passed along party-line votes. He said passing legislation with no expectation it would be taken up in the Senate is a common congressional practice, pointing to his own experience working with Boehner when Democrats still controlled the Senate during the Obama administration.
"Well a lot of those are party line bills," Steele said. "Those are messaging bills, those are things that House Democrats knew were not going to be taken up by the Republican Senate."
Ruhle repeatedly interrupted Steele for clarification as she tried to make sense of why Republicans are not supportive of the Democratic agenda.
"Let’s just go back to that for a minute, to the all 300," Ruhle said. "Why exactly would Republicans not want to pass a bill that makes the ads that we see on Facebook more safe? Why wouldn’t they want to do something on universal background checks which the majority of Americans support? How is that just a Democratic priority?"
Steele pointed out to Ruhle she had named partisan policy measures.
"I think both of those bills raise questions related to the First and Second Amendment where Senate Republicans by in large have a very different opinion than House Democrats," Steele said.