Congress

Protesters rally outside Sen. McConnell’s home in Kentucky

Two bills to tighten background checks for firearm purchases have stalled in the Republican-led Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., makes his way to his office in the Capitol on Thursday August 1, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A group of protesters made some noise outside the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday night.

Demonstrators chanted, rang cowbells, banged pots and pans, and scraped a plastic shovel across the concrete sidewalk as they called for an end to white supremacy and gun violence in the Kentucky Republican’s Louisville district, WLKY reported

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” about 25 people chanted, a video shows. A group of plain-clothed officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department stood in the front yard, WHAS reported.  

Meanwhile, the McConnell campaign objected to remarks made between protesters and captured on a livestream of the demonstration posted to Facebook. One woman appears to jokingly urge another protester “just stab” McConnell — using an obscenity instead of his name — “in the heart.”

The senator’s  campaign described that as a “serious call to physical violence” and said it “alerted law enforcement.”

[‘Come back ... immediately’: Democrats call for special session in aftermath of mass shootings]

The constituents told the station they knew McConnell would be home, where he has been working as he recovers from an injury. McConnell fell and fractured his shoulder Sunday.  

The protest comes as Democratic lawmakers have called for the Senate to end the traditional August recess and resume work in the Capitol to address a rash of mass shootings in a “special session.” 

[Gun control legislation again faces political headwinds following three deadly shootings]

Two bills to tighten background checks for firearm purchases have stalled in the Senate under McConnell’s leadership. 

“Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has called himself the ‘grim reaper’ and refuses to act on this bipartisan legislation. It is incumbent upon the Senate to come back into session to pass this legislation immediately,” Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement Monday.

Two photos connected to McConnell have drawn criticism in recent days, as scrutiny of the Kentucky senator has intensified.

In a photo shared by his campaign on Twitter, a mock tombstone shows the name of a Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath. The campaign sent the tweet from this year's picnic in Fancy Farm, Kentucky, an event known for politicians exchanging unrestrained insults. But McGrath criticized the joke as “troubling” given news of a mass shooting in El Paso had broken just hours earlier.  

“This strikes me as beyond the pale,” McGrath said.

Before the events at Fancy Farm had wrapped up, another photo surfaced of McConnell supporters in “Team Mitch” shirts posing with a cardboard cutout of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The supporters mimed kissing and choking her.

“Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at the senator. 

In a statement, the McConnell described the supporters as “underage kids.”

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