U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) defeated on Tuesday an attempt by Democrats to criticize President Donald Trump over his response to civil unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
As Reuters reported, Republicans shot down a bill that would have rebuked the president for clearing protesters out of Lafayette Square on Monday.
“Congress condemns the president of the United States for ordering federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square,” the resolution stated, according to Fox News.
“Indulges a myopic obsession”
Democrats have ramped up their criticism of the administration in recent days as Trump’s response to the ongoing chaos has included a threat to deploy U.S. troops to areas hardest hit by the destructive and often violent demonstrations.
After making those comments in a White House address on Monday, the president ordered nearby protesters to be cleared out before he crossed the street to pose in front of a historic church damaged by arsonists over the weekend.
The move led to bipartisan criticism, but a statement by the U.S. Park Police disputed reports that the demonstrators were peaceful and denied that officers used tear gas to disperse the crowd, as Fox reported.
In rejecting a resolution by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), McConnell said the bill “indulges in a myopic obsession with President Trump that has come to define the Democratic side,” according to Reuters.
“Obsession with condemning President Trump”
For his part, Schumer likewise shot down a resolution introduced by McConnell, which more closely reflects the president’s stance.
While acknowledging the “legitimate grievances” of protesters, the measure from the Republican leader stressed the importance of upholding the rule of law.
Schumer’s resolution also denounced violence and looting, as Axios noted, but McConnell felt it focused too much on Trump’s personal conduct.
The majority leader said that, outside of the nation’s capital, “there is no universe where Americans think Democrats’ obsession with condemning President Trump is a more urgent priority than ending the riots or advancing racial justice,” according to Axios.
The president’s continued focus on “law and order” has opened him up to some backlash, especially from the Democratic side of the aisle. McConnell, however, speaks for millions of Americans who want to see decisive action taken to restore order and focus on the actual issues that have led to the ongoing nationwide protests.