Executive Session

Floor Speech

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: Dec. 16, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I want the American people to see something. This is the bill the majority would have us pass, this Omnibus appropriations bill. It is 2,000 pages long. I think the American people should think back to this time a year ago--last December--when the Democrats did the very same thing. At that point, it was a 2,700-page health care bill because, frankly, they didn't want us to see what was in it. Only afterwards did we find out about the ``Cornhusker kickback,'' the ``Louisiana purchase,'' and all the rest.

This is eerily familiar to anyone who remembers the health care debate. We even have snow in the forecast, which is reminiscent of last year. Last year we voted on health care in a blizzard--the 2,700-page health care bill in the middle of a blizzard.

This bill is so enormous it took the Government Printing Office 2 days to print it. It spends more than $ 1/2 billion a page. Let's take a look at it again.

Here is the bill. It spends--right at 2,000 pages in this bill--it spends $ 1/2 billion a page. It has more than $ 1/2 billion in it for the Democratic health care bill we passed last year, the 2,700-page bill that looked pretty much like this. It has $ 1/2 billion in it for that health care bill we passed last year.

An ever-growing number of Americans looking at that health care bill would like for us to repeal it, not fund it. This is exactly the kind of thing the American people voted against last November--just this kind of thing. We had a referendum on November 2 on how the American people felt about what we have been doing for the last 2 years, and right at the top of the list was the 2,700-page health care bill.

Frankly, it is just unbelievable. Just a few weeks after the voters told us they don't want us rushing major pieces of complicated, costly, far-reaching legislation through Congress, we get this 2,000-page bill. They want to ram this gigantic, trillion-dollar bill through Congress, and they are using, once again, the Christmas break as an inducement to vote for it.

Look, we all know this is not the way to legislate. Americans expect more from Congress and they demanded more on election day. That is why today I am introducing this clean, one-page continuing resolution that would operate the government through February 18. So we have a choice. We can pass this 2,000-page bill spending $ 1/2 billion a page, or we can do this one-page, clean continuing resolution through February 18 of next year. That is the choice we have.

Once the new Congress is sworn in, we will have a chance to pass a less expensive bill, free of this kind of wasteful spending. Until then, we need to take a step back and respect the will of the voters.

I think the message was pretty clear last November. One pundit referred to it as a restraining order. In other words: Quit doing what you have been doing. Here we are 1 month after the election attempting to pass this 2,000-page bill when we could pass a one-pager that would simply continue the government through February 18.

So we are going to have an opportunity to do this. I hope it makes sense on a bipartisan basis, this one-page continuing resolution until February 18, as an alternative to this 2,000-page monstrosity that spends $ 1/2 billion a page. I don't think there is any question it is the right thing to do, and I hope my colleagues decide in the end that is the direction we ought to take. I am going to introduce this, and I just wanted to highlight it for my colleagues.

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