- - Wednesday, September 4, 2019


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear once again that he will not allow bills — in this case, those involving gun reform — to be brought to the floor, debated and voted on without a signal of support from President Trump (“Mitch McConnell looks to Trump before making any move on gun legislation,” Web, Sept. 3). If this unprecedented position of not allowing bills to be debated without a guarantee that they will become laws were the stated policy of former Senate majority leaders, imagine all the important legislation that never would have been enacted: Social Security, Medicare, civil rights, etc.

What is especially troublesome about this is that Mr. McConnell is unilaterally removing the constitutional authority and obligation of the Senate to legislate, especially since there is a constitutional provision for passing legislation over the veto of the executive. In essence, Mr. McConnell’s maneuver is tantamount to making the Senate a rubber stamp for the president, and hence part of the executive branch — something our Founding Fathers vigorously sought to avoid. All Americans, regardless of party affiliation and political ideology, should find Mr. McConnell’s stance reprehensible.


Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor, Moody College of Communication

University of Texas-Austin

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