Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday defended his decision to call the Senate back into session this coming week, saying that he believes it is "essential" for lawmakers to return to work and support people who have been working through the coronavirus pandemic emergency.
"We can modify our routines in ways that are smart and safe, but we can honor our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct our business in person," the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"If it's essential for doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, truck drivers, and grocery store workers, and many other brave Americans, then it is essential for senators to carefully man hours and support them," said McConnell.
Democrats, however, have slammed McConnell for his call to open the Senate at a time when the surrounding area remains under work-at-home orders, and while the House is staying out of Washington on the advice of the congressional physician.
McConnell added that there are many confirmations that must be handled that were "bothered" by Democrats even before the pandemic began, "so we have much work to do with the American people, and we think we can do it safely."
McConnell also commented on the news concerning former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and revelations of FBI papers confirming the effort to pin him down on federal violations.
Decisions to pardon Flynn would be "made by others," said McConnell, and if President Donald Trump decides to go that way, "that would be the appropriate time to respond."
Also on Thursday, McConnell addressed the controversy concerning former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been accused of sexual assault by a former aide.
"When you run in the United States your life is an open book," said McConnell. "It's a very challenging thing to run for president and I think everyone who has done that has realized that their entire life has been opened up to scrutiny. That has happened to vice president Biden and they shouldn't be surprised."
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