Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement on Thursday morning that both reflected on the “dark day” of the Capitol riot a year ago and criticized Democrats for politicizing the January 6 anniversary.
“January 6th, 2021 was a dark day for Congress and our country,” McConnell said. “The United States Capitol, the seat of the first branch of our federal government, was stormed by criminals who brutalized police officers and used force to try to stop Congress from doing its job.”
After reflecting on the seriousness of the criminal behavior of that day, McConnell focused his attention on the Democrats’ treatment of the January 6 anniversary. “[It] has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that long predated this event,” he said. “It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country’s norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves.”
While McConnell doesn’t specify exactly what “norms, rules, and institutions” the Democrats are trying to discard, it’s likely that he is referring to recent Democrat attempts to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. On Monday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he would move to change Senate rules by January 17 unless Republicans stop blocking Democratic efforts to pass their voting rights bill.
If Republicans continue to block our efforts,
The Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy:
Free and fair elections.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 3, 2022
“The fight for the ballot is as old as the Republic. Over the coming weeks, the Senate will once again consider how to perfect this union and confront the historic challenges facing our democracy,” Schumer wrote in a dear colleague letter on Monday. “We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections,” he added.
On Thursday in a speech at the Capitol, after Vice President Kamala Harris made the morally bankrupt comparison of January 6 to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, she stated, “We must pass voting rights bills that are now before the Senate.”
Kamala Harris in Jan. 6 speech: "We must pass voting rights bills that are now before the Senate."
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) January 6, 2022
A portion of Harris’ speech can be viewed here:
Vice President Kamala Harris begins her remarks on Jan. 6, remembering dates when "our democracy came under assault." pic.twitter.com/nwVb1gx4dT
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 6, 2022
Meanwhile, McConnell is having none of the Democrats’ attempts to use January 6 as a political game to pass their voting legislation. “A year ago today, the Senate did not bend or break,” he commented. “We stuck together, stood strong, gaveled back in, and did our job. Senators should not be trying to exploit this anniversary to damage the Senate in a different way from within.”