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SHOT/CHASER: Mitch McConnell "Slams Brakes" on Next COVID-19 Rescue Bill, But Will Confirm Trump’s Anti-Health JudgesTitle Here

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

McConnell prioritizes anti-health judicial nominees while at least 22 million Americans file for unemployment insurance and 835,000 test positive for COVID-19

Washington, DC  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the United States has been staggering. More than 835,000 people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 and increasing every day, at least 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past month, and countless Americans are struggling to access the health care they need.

Even so, despite the vast needs that remain for health care providers, families, frontline workers, state and local governments, and voting systems, the next phase of relief for the people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic isn't on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) agenda. Today, McConnell again slammed the brakes on the next COVID-19 rescue bill — but doubled down on his goal to confirm as many Trump judicial nominees as possible, despite the fact that many hold views hostile toward health care access, including reproductive health.

SHOT: POLITICO: McConnell slams brakes on next round of coronavirus aid

  • "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is drawing a line: There will be no more attempts at long-distance legislating on the coronavirus."
  • "[McConnell] signaled he is growing weary of quickly shoveling billions of dollars out the door even as the economy continues to crater."
  • "McConnell said the Senate will proceed 'cautiously' to the next phase of coronavirus relief despite rapidly escalating demands for more aid from members of both parties."

CHASER: The Hill: McConnell says GOP will confirm Trump court picks through pandemic

  • "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that Republicans will keep trying to confirm President Trump's judicial nominees once the chamber returns to Washington, despite the coronavirus pandemic."
  • "'As soon as we get back in session, we’ll start confirming judges again. We need to have hearings, and we need to confirm judges. ... The pandemic will not prevent us from achieving that goal,' McConnell said."
  • "Republicans have raced to confirm Trump's judicial nominees, setting a record for the pace of confirming appeals court judges. The Senate has confirmed a total of 193 judicial nominations since Trump took office, including two Supreme Court picks and 51 appeals judges."
  • "McConnell and his colleagues have been encouraging some federal judges appointed by Republican presidents to retire this year in order to ensure that their seats will be filled by ideological allies, The New York Times reported last month."

While each day brings new examples of the grave consequences of Trump’s failure to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unconscionable that McConnell and his allies in Congress are focusing their efforts on packing the courts with Trump's judicial nominees — many of whom have records hostile toward access to health care, including reproductive health.

Statement from Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes:

“It's hard to imagine being more out of touch with working families than Mitch McConnell. People desperately need health care and economic relief, not this partisan scheme by McConnell and his allies to pack the courts with judges who share their commitment to attacking health care access and reproductive rights. McConnell's true colors are showing — he and his allies in Congress will drop everything to pursue their ideological agenda and shape the courts for a generation, even if it puts livelihoods, and lives, in jeopardy.


Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.