Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says there is little proof racial minorities are being denied the right to vote, calling it "voter-suppression nonsense that the Democrats are promoting."
McConnell made his remarks to The Wall Street Journal, in which he also defended policing in the United States as Democrats push for concepts such as "defunding the police" and an end to qualified immunity, which shield cops from being sued in most instances.
"To defund the police department is an absurd suggestion," the Journal quoted McConnell as saying. "What do they think we should do if we're being accosted, call a social worker?
"This is an extreme overreaction, in my view, to police forces around the country. Most of them are doing a very dangerous job under very challenging conditions, every day."
The comments come after nearly two months of protests and riots following the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Senate Democrats blocked a vote on a police reform bill written by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., saying it did not go far enough.
McConnell added, largely Republican-promoted measures such as ID requirements or shortened polling place hours are not disadvantaging Blacks from voting.
"There's very little tangible evidence of this whole voter-suppression nonsense that the Democrats are promoting," McConnell said. "My prediction is African-American voters will turn out in as large a percentage as whites, if not more so, all across the country."
Overall, McConnell rejected the notion promoted by some that the United States is an overtly racist society.
"You know, you can either look at the situation with despair, or say 'Well, yes, there are still problems, but it is dramatically better in almost every measurable way since it was in the 1960s,'" the 78-year-old McConnell said.
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