House Democrats frustrated with Senate as over 300 bills passed last year remain untouched

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WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 06: The U.S. Capitol Building is pictured on November 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Today millions of Americans headed to the polls to vote in the midterm elections that will decide what party will control the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — House Democrats are urging the Senate to act on the more than 300 bills sent to the upper chamber last year.

Congressman Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, said 275 of those bills are bipartisan and are important to millions of Americans.

“It’s a defeat of our Constitutional design to take the legislation and not even act on it,” Raskin said. “It’s not like we’ve got the Democrats fighting against Republicans.”

Raskin said he blames Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the hundreds of bills that haven’t seen the light of day.

He said critical bills like the Equality Act, a $15 minimum wage bill and a bipartisan universal background checks bill have all fallen victim to the legislative graveyard in the Senate.

Joel Griffith, a Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation said it comes as no surprise that the Senate hasn’t taken up those bills.

“Look at the details, read the text and decide for yourself whether or not you think the Senate should pass that legislation,” Griffith said.

But as the Senate prepares for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, there’s even less of a chance of graveyard bills reaching the Senate floor before that’s resolved.

“I think that going forward into 2020, if the Senate does end up undertaking this impeachment trial, I think there will be opportunities to see legislative progress.”

Raskin said House Democrats must work with their Senate counterparts to urge McConnell to bring the bills up for a vote.

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