Sen. Mitch McConnell: ‘Let’s stop the games.’ [The Arena]

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Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell

Kentucky’s senior senator, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, rose to the podium on the Senate floor Monday and called upon Senate Democrats and the President to work with Republicans on bipartisan proposals that can help create jobs.  He allowed as how the Democrats may have had good intentions, “…but the fact is, they made a bad economy worse.”

MM AP Hamburg.jpgMcConnell reminded his fellow senators that the nation’s unemployment has now stood above 9 percent for more consecutive months than in any other period since WWII, and that there are now more than a million fewer jobs in this country than when President Obama’s first stimulus bill was signed into law.  “So the American people gave the President a chance to do something about jobs and the economy, and he failed,” said the senator.

Sen. McConnell noted that, in the House of Representatives, a bipartisan effort to create jobs has resulted in the passage of more than 20 pieces of legislation designed to make it easier for small businesses to create jobs.   Unfortunately, the Democratic majority in the Senate has prevented this legislation from being brought forward for a vote.

Citing the example of the Small Company Capital Formation Act, H.R. 1070, McConnell noted that the proposal received 421 votes in the House of Representatives; including those of 183 Democrats.  Only one person in the House voted against this bill.

“Here’s a jobs bill that’s about as popular as Mother’s Day. There’s no reason not to pass it in the Senate right now,” said McConnell.  “Right now, promising businesses aren’t going public because they simply can’t afford the high cost of managing the mountain of government paperwork they’re required to under current law. So instead of going out there and raising money to grow and hire, they’re holding back. They’re not expanding or hiring,” he said.

McConnell flirts_2.gif“If firms like this want to expand and hire, they need to be able to raise capital from investors so they don’t go into debt. But current law keeps them from doing so because of all the regulatory burdens that come along with it. Well, I think we should be removing barriers to growth for companies like this one. And 183 Democrats in the House agree with me.

Noting that President Obama expressed support for this type of legislation in his speech to a joint session of Congress back in September, Sen. McConnell said, “(T)his bill is as bipartisan as it gets.  The only thing standing in the way right now is Senate Democrats. They just won’t take yes for an answer.”

McConnell concluded his address with this call to action:  “Let’s not delay any longer.  Let’s stop the games.  Let’s do the work we were sent here to do.”

Democrats Playing Games.JPG

Democrats actually playing games:  Democrats Jack Hennessy, right, and Barbara Lambert, left, pass time as House Republican Leader Larry Cafero talks about the budget deficit.

Full text of Sen. McConnell's Monday address:

“For the past three years, President Obama and Democrat leaders in Congress have spent most of their time pushing policies that undermine the private sector.

“They may have good intentions, but the fact is, they made a bad economy worse.

“Unemployment has now stood above 9 percent for more consecutive months than in any other period since WWII. And there are now more than a million fewer jobs in this country than when the President’s first stimulus bill was signed into law.

“So the American people gave the President a chance to do something about jobs and the economy, and he failed.

“That’s why, last year, the American people put Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, so they could try a different approach. And that’s just what they’ve done.

“For nearly a year now, House Republicans have been following through on their pledge to put Americans back to work by passing bill after bill aimed at helping businesses create jobs.

“The problem is, every time Republicans pass one of these bills over in the House, Democrats here in the Senate refuse to take it up. The Democrats who run the Senate are just letting all these bills die.

“Some people want to know why this is happening. They want to know why the Senate won’t take these bills up.

“Well, the answer is pretty simple.

“President Obama and his political advisors have put out the word that they don’t want Congress to get anything done around here until after next year’s election, so the President can go around on a bus and blame Congress for the country’s problems. And Democrats in the Senate are lining right up behind him.

“They’re doing the President’s bidding.

“But that’s not stopping Republicans in the House from doing the work they were elected to do.

“And it’s not going to keep the Republican minority here in the Senate from calling on Democrats to act.

“To date, House Republicans have passed more than 20 pieces of legislation designed to do two things: make it easier for small businesses to create jobs and pass on a broad bipartisan basis.

“Last week, I highlighted 15 such bills the House already passed that Senate Democrats should take up. This week, Senate Republicans will highlight several additional such bills the House passed last week.

“We’re going to keep talking about these bills until Senate Democrats realize there’s no reason we shouldn’t take them up, pass them on a bipartisan basis, and actually do something on jobs around here.

“For nearly three years, President Obama has demanded that we pass massive legislation he knows Republicans have problems with. What we’re saying is, let’s start with things that have bipartisan support, that we know can pass, instead.

“Since Republicans control the House and Democrats control the Senate we’re not likely to agree on the big, partisan stuff. But there are a lot of other job-creating measures we can agree on.

“Let’s focus on them. Let’s work together on the things we can all agree on, just like we did last month on trade agreements.

“Here’s just one example out of many: last week, the House passed a bill called the Small Company Capital Formation Act, H.R. 1070. It got 421 votes, including 183 Democrats.

“Only one person in the House voted against this bill.

“Here’s a jobs bill that’s about as popular as Mother’s Day. There’s no reason not to pass it in the Senate right now.

“Right now, promising businesses aren’t going public because they simply can’t afford the high cost of managing the mountain of government paperwork they’re required to under current law. So instead of going out there and raising money to grow and hire, they’re holding back. They’re not expanding or hiring.

“We recently heard from the CEO of a pharmaceutical company in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, who said private companies like his are at a major disadvantage if they come up promising new drugs. He’s got at least one such promising new drug in the pipeline for chronic kidney disease, but can’t take it to the next level.

“If firms like this want to expand and hire, they need to be able to raise capital from investors so they don’t go into debt. But current law keeps them from doing so because of all the regulatory burdens that come along with it. Well, I think we should be removing barriers to growth for companies like this one. And 183 Democrats in the House agree with me.

“President Obama supports the idea too. He said so in his speech to a joint session of Congress back in September.

“So this bill is as bipartisan as it gets.

“The only thing standing in the way right now is Senate Democrats. They just won’t take yes for an answer.

“But it’s only a matter of time before the American people catch on to the Democrats’ refusal to act. And once they do, Republicans will be ready with a long and growing list of bipartisan bills that have already passed the House and that we believe the President of the United States would sign.

“Let’s not delay any longer.

“Let’s stop the games.

“Let’s do the work we were sent here to do.”

 

McConnell Urges Senate Democrats to Take up the House's Jobs Bills

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).

 

About Thomas McAdam
At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.
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