WASHINGTON, DC, March 16, 2020 – While the House of Representatives was hard at work on Friday to pass important legislation to respond to the coronavirus crisis and protect the health and financial well-being of the country, Mitch McConnell was absent from Washington. Instead, demonstrating where his priorities really lie, he was in Kentucky with Brett Kavanaugh to celebrate the swearing-in of a trial court judge who strongly opposes the federal government ensuring access to quality health care for millions. Three days later, McConnell and the Senate have still not acted on the House legislation or any measure to address the imploding health crisis.
That district judge, Justin Walker, was confirmed by Senate Republicans last fall despite the fact that the American Bar Association deemed him unqualified for having virtually no courtroom experience. Walker had openly called the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act “indefensible.” He also praised Kavanaugh for having written a “thorough and principled takedown” of the law while on the DC Circuit, praising it as a “roadmap” for the Supreme Court to someday dismantle the law that guarantees millions of Americans access to health care.
In response to McConnell prioritizing his powerful anti-health care friends over leading the Senate in a response that will provide the urgent protections the country needs, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“It is outrageous that Mitch McConnell left Washington without doing anything to address the coronavirus pandemic impacting lives across the country. While millions of Americans are worrying about their job security and protecting their loved ones, McConnell took a victory lap for helping confirm a judge openly opposed to making health care accessible and affordable. Justin Walker praised Brett Kavanaugh for creating a ‘roadmap’ for courts to declare the Affordable Care Act — including its protections for people with preexisting conditions — unconstitutional. It’s deeply troubling that McConnell’s priorities do not lie with the health of the American people during this difficult time.”