Nancy Pelosi referred to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as “Moscow Mitch” in a speech at an Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association gathering on Wednesday as she listed House measures he has blocked, including legislation on gun control and election security.
“Moscow Mitch says that he is the grim reaper. Imagine describing yourself as the grim reaper, that he’s going to bury all this legislation,” she said during the Springfield, Ill., event. “Well, we have news for him. All this legislation is alive and well in the general public.”
“Public sentiment is everything,” Pelosi quoted Abraham Lincoln to drive home her point. “And that public sentiment is what you will help us make sure [McConnell] is aware of.”
McConnell has previously stated his disdain for the nickname after it was used by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough last month. The Washington Post also ran a column headlined “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.”
“I was called unpatriotic, un-American and essentially treasonous,” McConnell said on the Senate floor at the time.
“Welcome to modern-day McCarthyism,” McConnell added.
In her speech, Pelosi urged the importance of stopping “big, dark money” in politics, fighting climate change and the passing of background check legislation for the purchasing of guns.
“We must pass gun violence prevention legislation. Every day we lose lives,” she said.
Pelosi brought up two pieces of legislation strengthening background check laws for gun sales that were passed by the House in February and which McConnell has blocked since. In the wake of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, critics have condemned McConnell’s inaction on the measures while offering prayers to victims.
“And now public sentiment must weigh in to save lives, to pass our bill,” Pelosi said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi uses 'Moscow Mitch' insult against McConnell