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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, first, I had an opportunity to hear the remarks of Dr. Barrasso, the Senator from Wyoming, about health care, and I wish to thank him for the ongoing contribution he has made in this very important debate. This is an issue that is not over and we will keep on revisiting the flaws in the coming years. So I thank the Senator from Wyoming for his important contribution.
I also thank the other Senator from Wyoming who is sitting to my left, who is the author of this measure we will be voting on--a necessary step. I thank the Senator from Wyoming for his important contribution as well.
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Mr. President, for the past year and a half, Americans have witnessed something truly remarkable here in Washington. They have watched a governing party that was more or less completely uninterested in what the governed had to say about the direction of the country. In a nation where the government's power is derived from the consent of the governed, that is a pretty risky governing philosophy. That is why the voices of the American people have grown louder and louder.
Republicans have listened to those voices. We heard the concerns Americans had with the stimulus bill that was based on the discredited premise that having bureaucrats and Democratic lawmakers spend $1 trillion on their favorite programs would revive the economy, and we opposed it. We heard the concerns Americans had about a health spending bill that was built on the discredited premise that spending more money and growing the Federal bureaucracy would make health care less expensive, and we opposed it. We heard the concerns Americans had about a financial regulatory bill that was built on the discredited premise that hiring more of the same kind of bureaucrats who missed the last crisis was a good formula for preventing the next one, and we opposed it.
Again and again, Democrats were faced with a problem, and their solution was to ram through some costly, big government solution Americans did not want, but that they are now expected to pay for. And they are still not finished.
In order to fund even more programs, more government, our friends on the other side now want to raise taxes. Nearly 15 million Americans are looking for work and can't find it. Another 11 million are underemployed, meaning they have settled for part-time work instead of a full-time job. Household income is down for the second year in a row, and Democrats want to take more money out of people's pockets.
Just yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said these tax hikes will hurt the economy and slow the recovery. So what did we do here over the past week in the Senate? An ill-conceived bill the chairman of the Finance Committee said would put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage, and a campaign finance bill, the entire goal of which was to give Democrats an electoral advantage in the upcoming elections by muzzling their opponents.
If Americans need any further proof that Democrats haven't been listening to them, this past week has provided all the evidence they need. Americans want us to focus on jobs, and our friends on the other side focused on preserving their own jobs and spending more taxpayer dollars.
It has to stop.
That is why earlier this month I proposed a bill that would prevent a massive tax hike from going into effect on anyone at the end of the year, and that is why Republicans put forward an appropriations cap that would cut $300 billion from the President's budget, even as our friends on the other side neglected to bring a single appropriations bill to the floor.
Sometime today or tomorrow, we will be leaving Washington to head back to our States and when we do, Democrats will have a lot of explaining to do about how they have spent their time here in the last year and a half. As for Republicans, we will be able to say we listened.
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