U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the weekly Republican address Saturday.
Full transcript of Leader McConnell's address:
"Good Morning. I'm Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky.
"As Americans across the country prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this coming week, we're reminded of the many blessings we enjoy as a nation.
"We're grateful for the sacrifices of the brave men and women in our armed forces who will not be home with their families next week, and who make these blessings possible.
"And we're also conscious this Thanksgiving of the many Americans who are struggling with serious hardships, including the many millions of Americans who are struggling to find work.
"At the moment, about 15 million of our fellow citizens are looking for jobs and can't find one. The unemployment rate has remained stubbornly close to ten percent for a year and a half. We are experiencing what can only be described as a jobs crisis, a sustained period of chronic unemployment; and two years of policies that have vastly increased the size and scope of government and added trillions to the debt and have done little to alleviate this problem.
"Take the Stimulus, for example.
"Here was a bill that was supposed to create millions of jobs and keep unemployment from rising above eight percent. Yet, since Democrats passed it nearly two years ago, more than three million people have lost jobs and the economy barely has a pulse. The American people delivered a clear verdict on this and other failed experiments in the government-as-economic-stimulator on Election Day. But Democratic leaders in Washington continue to act as if nothing has changed, including their priorities.
"The top priority of most Americans is to create jobs and get the economy moving. And the single best thing we could do in Washington to achieve that goal is to prevent a tax hike that's about to hit every taxpayer and hundreds of thousands of small businesses at the stroke of Midnight on December 31st.
"And that's what I proposed a bill in September that would take care of this giant tax hike and prevent it from going into effect.
"Unfortunately, Democratic leaders have shown little interest in the idea. After adding trillions to the debt on big-government policies most Americans didn't ask for and which we couldn't afford, Democratic leaders say they need more money, which they intend to take from small business, even though small businesses create the majority of new jobs.
"Americans don't think we should be raising taxes on anybody, especially in the middle of a recession. But instead of giving Americans what they want, Democratic leaders plan to use the last few days that lawmakers expect to spend in Washington this year focusing on everything except preventing this tax hike, which will cost us even more jobs:
" Immigration A repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' A reorganization of the FDA More environmental regulations
"Democrats put off all these things until after the election, along with the most basic task of funding the government. By focusing on them now, and not on legislation to promote job creation and reduce spending, they're showing where their priorities lie.
"This should be an easy one. The bill that job creators and out-of-work Americans need us to pass is the one that ensures taxes won't go up -- one that says Americans and small business owners won't get hit with more bad news at the end of the year.
"It's time Congress got its priorities straight. It's time Congress focused on job creation --and that means preventing tax hikes. It's time to set aside the political votes and government spending that the administration and Democratic leaders have put above all other priorities for two years.
"Time is running out. But it's not too late for both parties to work together and prevent this massive tax hike from going into effect. It's not too late to focus on the priorities of the American people. And Republicans in Congress are eager to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who is willing to do so.
"Americans spoke loudly and clearly on Election Day. We owe it to them to show we heard them -- to work together to get this done.
"Thanks for listening."