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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he is opposed to moving the date of this year’s election as President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet Thursday morning.
However, McCarthy backed Trump in opposing mail-in voting and said Republicans should vote by absentee ballot, instead.
“I understand the president’s concern about mail in voting, which is different than absentee voting,” he said.
“But never in the history of the federal elections have we ever not held an election, and we should go forward with our election.”
Trump’s tweet was the first time he has publicly raised the idea of pushing back the balloting.
Shifting the election is virtually impossible, but the mere suggestion of delay was extraordinary, and it marked another bracing attempt by Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system.
Trump has increasingly sought to cast doubt on November’s election and the expected pandemic-induced surge in mail-in and absentee voting. He has called remote voting options the “biggest risk” to his reelection.
His campaign and the Republican Party have sued to combat the practice, which was once a significant advantage for the GOP.
“I have watched time and again that if you just mass mail ballots out, people have moved, voter rolls are not updated, and that’s where you have real problems in elections,” McCarthy said.
He also took a swipe at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats after Pelosi Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Capitol officials issued broad new mask requirements Wednesday.
That action came Rep. Louis Gomert, a Republican from Texas, tested positive for the coronavirus.
McCarthy said he put forward a plan months ago that would have provided rapid coronavirus testing at the U.S. Capitol, among other measures.
“In the plan that I laid out more than 100 days ago, it would have brought just a few committees back. We would have tested the Members. We would have tested staff. And we would test the press. None of that has taken place,” he said.
McCarthy also blamed Democrats for failing to be tough enough on China, where COVID-19 originated.
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In This Story: China
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In This Story: Donald Trump
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. Trump was born and raised in Queens, a borough of New York City, and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School.