WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday warned senators not to use the election as "an excuse not to do our work."
"Some have said because it is an election year, you can't do much. I'd like to remind everyone: We've had a regularly scheduled election in this country every two years since 1788, right on time," McConnell said on the Senate floor.
"I've heard people say, 'Well, we can't do it because we have an election next year.' And people have said, 'We can't do whatever it is because we have an election this year,'" he continued. "It is not an excuse not to do our work."
Sound familiar? The upcoming presidential election is the reason McConnell and other Republicans have cited for not granting a confirmation hearing for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
Democrats quickly seized on the apparent hypocrisy.
McConnell has said he intends to bar Garland's nomination until after the November election, even as Republicans grapple with whether to back their presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Many in the GOP fear Trump may lose, thus leading to a more liberal Supreme Court nominee.
“Republicans continue to believe that the American people should have a voice in this decision and the next president should make the nomination,” McConnell's spokesman said last week.
Some senators, like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), have said that they will back Garland if Trump loses the general election.