- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 14, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Congress ought not allow its legislative priorities to get bogged down by the ongoing impeachment proceedings, which he dismissed as “some public hearing.”

“We cannot cease all legislation just because Democrats would rather fight with the president,” the Kentucky Republican said. “We won’t neglect the business of the American people just because a House committee is holding some public hearing. If they’re going to keep plowing ahead with their impeachment obsession, they cannot abdicate their basic government responsibilities at the very same time.”

Mr. McConnell said the Senate would continue to work on confirming President Trump’s judicial picks while the House Democrats proceed with what he labeled their “impeachment obsession.”

Congress is also gearing up for a government shutdown showdown next week if an agreement to extend temporary funding legislation does not materialize. Mr. McConnell blamed Democrats for blocking the necessary appropriations bills in the Senate.

“In short, my friends in Democratic leadership smelled an opportunity to pick a political fight,” Mr. McConnell said. “Our service members need their funding; American workers and small businesses need their new trade deal; our armed forces need the authorizing legislation that’s been a bipartisan slam-dunk every year for almost 60 years, 60 years.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Thursday that Mr. McConnell’s characterization of the impeachment hearings as a distraction was “ludicrous” because it was Republicans who “just block and block and block” legislation.

“It’s a ludicrous charge, not the least [of which is] because Leader McConnell has shuttered the Senate when it comes to legislative business,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “So this idea that impeachment is blocking us from doing things belies the record of Senator McConnell.”

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