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Sen. John Kennedy on Congress: ‘We have done nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.’

POLITICO logo POLITICO 5/22/2019 By Marianne LeVine

Video by MSNBC

Sen. John Kennedy called on the Senate Wednesday to do more than confirm nominations and lambasted Congress for its lack of legislative accomplishments.

Kennedy’s criticism comes as the Senate has picked up the pace of confirming President Donald Trump’s executive and judicial branch nominees, thanks to a recent rules change that reduces debate time on certain nominees.

While the Louisiana Republican acknowledged that confirming nominees to the executive and judiciary branches is a priority, he said more legislation needs to come to the floor.

“We have done nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada,” Kennedy said.

John Kennedy et al. around each other: Sen. John Kennedy said more legislation needs to come to the Senate floor. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Sen. John Kennedy said more legislation needs to come to the Senate floor. Kennedy criticized the Democratically-controlled House for passing “messaging” bills that are dead on arrival in the Senate and accused House leadership of harassing President Donald Trump. As for the Senate, Kennedy praised the nominees confirmed, who he described as “very fine men and women.”

“I’m not saying we haven’t done anything,” he said. “I’m saying we need to do more.”

Kennedy proceeded to list off bipartisan legislation that the Senate could bring to the floor, including bills addressing the cost prescription drugs, ending government shutdowns and reforming the process for declaring a national emergency.

“I don’t care whether we move a bill through committee or whether we bring a bill directly to the floor of the Senate,” he said. “I’m in labor, not management. That’s above my pay grade, but we need to try.”

Kennedy is not the first to call on the Senate to act. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Democrats have also dubbed the body a “legislative graveyard.”



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