Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Monday Democrat Nancy Pelosi of “irresponsible racial invective” which, he says, is hurting the chances for a bipartisan immigration deal.
“The type of irresponsible racial invective used yet again on this subject by the Democratic leader of the House is decidedly unhelpful. Those comments are precisely the kind of divisive partisanship that can dim the prospects that a bipartisan compromise could become law,” McConnell said.
Even though McConnell didn’t specify what he meant by the comments, they come only days after Pelosi said President Donald Trump’s immigration plan was part of his “unmistakable campaign to make America white again,” Associated Press reports. McConnell’s remarks also come as negotiators failed to make any significant progress toward crafting a bipartisan immigration deal.
No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin said “we are not even close” to a deal. Senator John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican leader, said he “was not seeing much engagement” from Democratic leaders on Trump’s plan.
Democrats have been critical of Trump’s package for including funding for a border wall and limiting legal immigration, as well as for proposing stricter immigration policies. Conservatives have opposed it for proposing a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million people who’ve been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
McConnell also said that Democrats should “put serious, good-faith discussions ahead of cheap partisan point-scoring.”
Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said in response that majority leader had finally “found his voice” after staying quiet on a White House meeting at which Trump used derogatory terms to refer to African countries.
“He couldn’t find the courage to say a thing,” Hammill said, referring to the meeting. “Apparently, Senator McConnell is more offended by pointing out the administration’s dog whistles than the hateful bigotry itself.”