Why This McConnell Inaugural Comment Is Turning Heads

After the public pomp and circumstance of the swearing-in of the new President and Vice President comes a series of traditions and ceremonies lasting throughout the day. Though many of those traditions have been adjusted this year for safety reasons (either due to the recent attempted coup at the Capitol, or the still prevalent COVID-19 pandemic), the peaceful transfer of power is still underway as Biden and Harris take on the various aspects of their duties.

While in previous years, Congress has held a luncheon with the new leaders of the executive branch, a ceremonial presentation of gifts was held instead. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota presented two custom Lenox vases, each weighing 32 pounds, while Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gifted Biden and Harris with the American flags that had hung over the Capitol during their swearing-in ceremony (via AP News). And though most of the day's talk has been about unity, it seems that Senator McConnel couldn't resist throwing just a bit of shade at Pelosi during the proceedings.

Senator McConnell took a dig at the House while congratulating President Biden

Per the Star Tribune, among McConnell's congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris, the Minority Leader said that both had served in the Senate, but had "skipped the House altogether." Onlookers have speculated that McConnell may have been taking the opportunity to tout the superiority of the Senate over the House as a slight towards Pelosi as the two presented the flags.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are crucial functions of the legislative branch of American government, though there is a perception of hierarchy between the two. The House is larger than the Senate as each state is entitled to representation based upon population. Per The White House, candidates for the House of Representatives must be 25 years of age and have been U.S. citizens for at least seven years. To serve in the Senate, one must be 30 years of age and a citizen for at least nine years. Each state is limited to two Senators regardless of size or population.

President Biden expressed his hope that his administration "can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world" (via Politico). If McConnell's most recent slight at Pelosi is any indication, it looks like we've got a ways to go towards unity — not just between parties, but between the two parts of Congress as well.