On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a resolution from Democrats that would condemn President Trump after rubber bullets and gas were used on peaceful protesters near the White House.
Minority Leader Charles Schumer tried to pass the resolution by unanimous consent, meaning anyone senator could block it.
“If a senator objects, they should be asked if they believe Americans do not have the constitutional right to exercise the freedom of speech. … Do they support the president’s use of tear gas against people, including families, who are peacefully protesting in a public park?” Schumer said.
The resolution would condemn Trump for “ordering Federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on the night of June 1, 2020, thereby violating the constitutional rights of those peaceful protestors.”
The Democratic resolution would also throw congressional support behind Americans’ right to protest peacefully and the idea that “violence and looting are unlawful, unacceptable and contrary to the purpose of peaceful protests.”
However, McConnell objected, arguing that the Democratic resolution did not address racial injustice or sought an end to the riots.
“It pays more attention to the precise ways that federal law enforcement affects presidential movement around the White House instead of cities that have been consumed by rioting, looting and violence against police for several nights in a row,” he said.
“There’s no universe where Americans think Democrats’ obsession with condemning President Trump is [a] more urgent priority than ending the riots or advancing racial justice,” McConnell said.
McConnell offered his own resolution instead, which was blocked by Schumer. McConnell’s resolution did not address the actions taken against protesters outside the White House on Monday night.
The resolution would throw the Senate’s support behind the idea that “order must be immediately restored to the cities of the United States so that citizens may have peace and the legitimate grievances of peaceful protestors may be heard and considered.”
Schumer said he blocked the resolution because it is “insufficient.”