- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will yield less power in Congress come January once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
- “Whether you’re in the minority or majority, if the president is of your party, you have more power,” she said.
- “And I think that’s what Mitch McConnell is going to find out now,” Pelosi added.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have less power in Congress once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Speaking to reporters during her weekly news conference, Pelosi called McConnell a “yes man” who she claimed showed up in her office often saying, “I’m not doing anything Donald Trump doesn’t want.”
“So to me, that was like an abdication of your first branch of government responsibility,” Pelosi said about McConnell’s remarks. “You’re just going to do whatever the president wants? No. This is a separation of power. Something very very important. The genius of our Constitution,” Pelosi said.
The lawmaker, a California Democrat, also said McConnell’s power in Congress is short-lived. Once Biden is inaugurated as president in January, McConnell’s influence will diminish.
“May I remind you that we have a president of the United States, we have a president of the United States. That is so very important. And whether you’re in the minority or majority, if the president is of your party, you have more power,” she said.
“And I think that’s what Mitch McConnell is going to find out now, that whether you’re in the majority or the minority, not having Donald Trump in the White House is going to change his leverage and that dynamic,” she added.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
McConnell and Pelosi have been at odds in the last four years, most recently during a months-long, partisan stalemate over the contents of the next coronavirus stimulus package.
Congress has stalled putting out a second relief bill as Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked on how much money to allocate for the package. Top Dems including Pelosi have been calling for a a $2.4 trillion stimulus package but McConnell and other Republicans are not budging for a package over $500 billion.
“So, again for the good of the country, I am so overjoyed that Joe Biden is president of United States, his decency, his vision, his values,” Pelosi added. “But I also know that he respects the legislative branch, and that there’s a collaboration and we will work together to put legislation together.”
Business Insider called the presidency for Biden on Friday, November 6, but few Republican senators, including McConnell, have publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory against President Trump. But the incoming Biden administration has been speaking privately with some GOP senators, indicating they might be willing to work with the former vice president come January.
Biden has previously said he would try to work across the aisle and collaborate with Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress.