In a televised debate with his Democratic opponent Amy McGrath late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laughed when confronted over his persistent refusal to pass additional coronavirus relief as pandemic-induced mass layoffs continue, hunger grows, and millions face the possibility of imminent eviction.
"The House passed a bill in May," said McGrath, referring to the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that the Kentucky Republican has dismissed and blocked from receiving a vote in the Senate. "The Senate went on vacation."
"You just don't do that," McGrath continued as McConnell laughed. "You negotiate. Senator, it is a national crisis. You knew that the coronavirus wasn't going to end at the end of July. We knew this."
"He's so proud of how little he's done to help the American people," Zach Ford of advocacy group Alliance for Justice tweeted in response to McConnell's debate performance. "That laugh should give you nightmares."
Monday evening was not the first time McConnell has laughed off questions about his failure to confront the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic collapse, which has thrown tens of millions of Americans out of work and sparked a nationwide hunger crisis.
In July, just a week before the $600-per-week federal unemployment insurance boost lapsed, McConnell let out a "big laugh" when a reporter asked whether Congress would be able to pass a relief bill before the expiration of the crucial lifeline.
"Thirty million workers won't be able to pay rent on August 1st and McConnell is laughing," Ashley Schapitl, a spokesperson for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), said at the time.
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams. You can read it here.