The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, decried what he called a “radical tantrum” on Saturday after his home in Kentucky was vandalised with messages apparently protesting against his refusal to increase Covid aid payments from $600 to $2,000.
The attack followed a similar one on the home of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, in San Francisco.
Democrats under Pelosi supported the move to increase payments but McConnell blocked it, despite its origin in a demand from Donald Trump.
According to local media reports, on Saturday morning the majority leader’s home in Louisville was spray-painted with slogans including “Weres [sic] my money?” and “Mitch kills the poor”.
Police reported minor damage. It was not immediately known if McConnell and his wife, the transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, were home at the time.
In California, Pelosi’s home was graced by a pig’s head, red paint and messages including “cancel rent” and “We want everything”.
In a statement on Saturday, McConnell said: “I’ve spent my career fighting for the first amendment [which protects free speech] and defending peaceful protest. I appreciate every Kentuckian who has engaged in the democratic process whether they agree with me or not.
“This is different. Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbours in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”
The state Republican party demanded Democrats denounce the vandalism. In a tweet, Democratic governor Andy Beshear called the vandalism “unacceptable”.
“While the first amendment protects our freedom of speech,” he wrote, “vandalism is reprehensible and never acceptable for any reason.”
Protesters both against McConnell and for Trump in his attempts to hold on to power – which McConnell has opposed – gathered outside the majority leader’s home.
“We all know that Trump supporters and what everyone wants to call Black Lives Matter has their differences,” one protester said, in footage broadcast on social media.
“But collectively we are here because Mitch is a bitch and he owes the American people money … we are here together to protest because the government, the system, has been ripping us all off in many different ways.”