Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, last night the President provided more detail on his administration's efforts to stop the oilspill in the gulf. If implemented successfully, some of what he said was encouraging. However, I wish the President would have used this opportunity to focus entirely on stopping the spill and to cleaning it up instead of using this crisis as an opportunity to push for a new national energy tax.
The immediate issue here is a broken pipe that has been spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day into the ocean for more than 8 weeks. The fact that the White House wants to use this crisis as an excuse to push more of its legislative agenda on the American people--with the same kinds of arguments it used to push health care--is really nothing short of startling.
During the health care debate, Americans were told we couldn't afford to put off the administration's vision of government-driven reform. Health care costs were rising so quickly, the President said, that inaction was not an option. We heard the same thing last night. It is a recurring theme out of this White House.
In the middle of a jobs crisis, Americans were told they needed to spend nearly $1 trillion on longstanding Democratic priorities that Democrats called a stimulus bill. They passed it, and we lost another 3 million jobs.
Out-of-control health care costs are pricing people out of the market and threatening to bankrupt government, so they passed a massive government-driven health care bill that promises to send health care costs even higher than they already are.
Our financial crisis was caused in large part by recklessness at government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their solution to that crisis was to pass a massive government intrusion into Main Street without even addressing Fannie or Freddie.
Now, in the midst of the worst environmental catastrophe in American history, they are talking about a new national energy task to achieve their ideological goal of passing global warming legislation. Americans are pleading with the administration to fix the immediate problem in the gulf and the White House wants to give us a new national energy tax instead.
Every time we face a crisis, it seems this administration takes us on another ideological tour of the far left's to-do list, when all the American people want from it are some straightforward, practical solutions.
So the White House may view the oilspill as an opportunity to push its agenda here in Washington, but Americans are more concerned about what it plans to do to solve the crisis down in the gulf. Americans have had enough of this crisis rhetoric coming out of this White House. They want real answers to real problems. And it doesn't get more real than the problem in the gulf.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.