The House plans to pass the bill on Tuesday, according to another source familiar with the matter.
The Kentucky Republican said the version of the protection bill in the House “is not going to pass the Senate.”
Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who was a lead co-sponsor of the Senate bill, told reporters, “I was a judge on the state Supreme Court for seven years. I mean, people know who the Supreme Court members are; they don’t know who the staff is.”
“The right bill passed the Senate. We’re not going to pass this House bill if it comes over,” McConnell added. “They need to take up the Senate bill that Sen. Cornyn sent them and pass it.”
Democrats are ready to concede, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Pelosi “was listening to the group” at the leadership meeting “to see how members felt” about moving the Senate bill — and the House version.
“I’m not happy, as you can tell,” the Maryland Democrat said, given that he has tried to move the House’s version of the bill.
The development caps days of a tense standoff between party leaders. Hoyer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a heated argument over the phone Thursday morning, which one GOP source familiar with the conversation characterized as a “screaming match,” after Hoyer informed the California Republican that House Democrats were not planning to unanimously and quickly clear the Senate-passed bill. A Hoyer spokesperson said at the time they did not comment on private member conversations.
Hoyer told McCarthy on Thursday morning that Democrats wanted to amend the bill to include protections for court staff. But McCarthy pushed back, arguing they should just pass the Senate bill now before lawmakers leave town and pass the rest when they get back, according to the GOP source.
McCarthy also accused Democrats of an unnecessary delay and warned Hoyer that he would raise the issue publicly if the majority leader followed through with his plan, the source added.
True to his word, McCarthy later went to the House floor and tried to bring up the Senate bill for an immediate vote, but was denied. McCarthy then headed to a news conference, where he kicked things off by complaining about Democrats holding up the bill.