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McConnell gave credit to Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., for paying attention to the severity of the outbreak at a time when the Senate as a whole was occupied.
“He was first, and I think Tom was right on the mark. And it came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial,” McConnell said on Hugh Hewitt‘s radio program. “And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment. But Tom figured this out early, and he was absolutely right.”
Former McConnell aide John Ashbrook also pointed this out Tuesday, stating that the pandemic is believed to have hit the United States the same day that House Democrats marched articles of impeachment to the Senate after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held off on moving forward on impeachment for weeks.
McConnell also criticized Pelosi for her role during Congress’ response to the health and economic problems stemming from the outbreak, particularly the recent $2 trillion stimulus package.
“The way I thought it would work best would be for those of us in the Senate to try to get started on a bipartisan basis, and we were doing really quite well, as you may recall, until the speaker of the House decided to insert herself into the process, which created a couple of days of unnecessary partisan sniping,” McConnell said. “But we got past that. And in the end, I think the best evidence is that there was not a single vote against it.”
The Senate majority leader took another dig at Pelosi for playing partisan politics at a time that both parties had been working together for a common goal, noting how soon this took place after a partisan impeachment process.
“I think you know, what really is noteworthy about this is we pivoted from the most partisan thing you could possibly be involved in, the impeachment of a president, to a unanimous vote on a $2 trillion dollar package all within a couple of months,” he said. “So we did have an outbreak of, you know, kind of the old-fashioned impeachment partisanship, which I think was generated by the speaker trying to, you know, get into the Senate process.”