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Public Statements

Extending the Generalized System of Preferences

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. After today's vote, the White House has no more excuses. The time has come to send the three pending trade agreements to Congress. We waited for the chance to pass these trade agreements that our economy desperately needs and that even the White House admits will create tens of thousands of jobs.

The White House asks us for a path forward on trade adjustment assistance in exchange for sending these deals up to Congress and we gave it to them. I cannot say I am happy about that. This is a program that I and many Republican Members have serious questions about. Thanks to the leadership of two of our Members, Senator Blunt and Senator Portman, we are where we are today, and the Senate will soon pass TAA without an amendment. Both parties in the Senate have acted in good faith to move this process forward. Now it is the President's turn. No more moving the goalposts; no more excuses. It is time for the administration to demonstrate something that seems to be in short supply on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and that is trust. The Senate today will have acted on trust in passing TAA even before we have received the agreements. The White House has refused to show the same trust in congressional Republicans who have assured them that TAA will move along with the free-trade agreements.

I kept my promise I would allow TAA to move forward in the Senate as long as Republicans had a chance to amend it. It is time for the administration to deliver theirs. It is time for the President to send up these long-pending free-trade agreements without further delay.

I yield the floor.

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Mr. McCONNELL. I think I can probably speak for everybody on this side that if we had a choice between wrapping all of this up sometime tonight, as opposed to coming back tomorrow, I think I am pretty safe in saying we prefer, if it is possible, to complete the job tonight knowing full well we are scheduled not to be here next week. Presumably if we finish the job in a way that is satisfactory to both the House and the Senate, I think our preference would be to grind through and to try to get to the end tonight.

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