Mitch McConnell Blocks Resolution Condemning Trump’s Response To Protests
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a resolution put forth by Senate Democrats this week that condemned President Donald Trump’s move to forcefully remove protesters from Lafayette Park on Monday.
CBS News reported that the resolution was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Schumer said on the Senate floor that the removal of the protesters was "appalling" and "an abuse of presidential power."
The resolution “would have affirmed the constitutional rights of Americans to peacefully protest, as well as state that violence and looting are unacceptable.”
It also condemned the president "for ordering Federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on the night of June 1, 2020, thereby violating the constitutional rights of those peaceful protestors."
McConnell accused Democrats of trying to pull a political stunt as the country is in crisis following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.
McConnell called Floyd’s death a "heinous act of criminal violence," adding that "there's no doubt that residual racism continues to be a stain on our country."
The Kentucky senator also said the peaceful protests had been “hijacked” by violence and looting.
McConnell said Democrats’ resolution would do nothing to help ease the tension.
"Those are the two issues that Americans want addressed: racial justice, and ending riots. Unfortunately, this resolution from my friend the Democratic leader does not address either one of them. Instead, it just indulges in the myopic obsession with President Trump that has come to define the Democratic side of the aisle," McConnell said.
CBS noted that Republican lawmakers have largely refrained from commenting on Trump’s Monday move to clear out protesters so he could walk to St. John’s Church for a photo op, with a few notable exceptions.
Senator Ben Sasse released a statement saying he was "against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop." Senator Lisa Murkowski told reporters that "I did not think that what we saw last night was the America that I know."